R. Kelly left Cook County Jail this afternoon for the second time in two weeks this morning after he paid more than $160,000 in overdue child support, according to the Chicago Sun-Times and multiple other media reports.
Kelly said, “I promise we’re gonna straighten all this out. That’s all I can say right now. I love my fans,” Kelly said as he left the facility, according to TMZ, which also reported that he pulled together the bail money with help from a “benefactor.” Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, recently said Kelly has been struggling financially.
Kelly, wearing a gray sweatshirt under a red coat, left jail just before noon local time, accompanied by Greenberg. The singer — whose emotional interview with CBS journalist Gayle King earlier this week was partially about his estranged relationship with his three children — went into police custody on Wednesday. Not two weeks ago, he spent three days in jail after being arrested on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims — three of whom were minors — on Feb. 22.
Last month, a Cook County judge issued an order that would send Kelly to jail if he did not pay $161,663 he owes his ex-wife, Drea Kelly, by 10 a.m. today. Drea was among multiple women who alleged sexual misconduct against the singer in the recent Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.”
Kelly is estranged from the three children from his 10-year marriage to Drea, which ended in divorce in 2009. During his interview on “CBS This Morning,” he became quite emotional when talking about his children. “I’m not really fighting for my career here — I’m fighting for my rights and I’m fighting to have a relationship with my kids, more than anything, because I missed a lot of years of their life. They love me, I love them,” he said, welling up. When interviewer Gayle King asked whether the children want to have a relationship with him, Kelly replied, “I bet you they do. I bet my breath on it. [But] they’re pressured [not to see him], and I get it.”
Greenberg recently said Kelly has been struggling financially and the spent three days in jail after his arrest last month before he was able to raise the $100,000 required to secure his release on $1 million bail. A female fan ultimately put up the money.
Greenberg did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
David France, Drea Kelly’s manager, told the Sun-Times, “Mr. Kelly has more than 20 people on his staff who, needless to say, are being paid. He is not without means. Not until he was arrested did he say he didn’t have any money.”
In a separate development, the singer’s troubles increased on Sunday when attorney held a press conference in New York with a man named Gary Dennis, who claims to have found a new sex tape featuring R. Kelly among his possessions. Allred said the tape — which Dennis says he found in a box of “very old” sports tapes he was sorting through — has been turned over to authorities in New York City’s Southern District. Dennis, who Allred said had never met R. Kelly and has no connection to him, said he had no idea how the tape came into his possession, although he had often traded tapes with friends. Allred said she had a “basis” to believe the man in the video is Kelly, but declined to provide further details.