The year began with Lifetime airing the "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary with details about R.Kelly and his sexual abuse allegations. Since then, there's been nothing but shocking incident after incident in the headlines about the singer.
R. Kelly has asked to be released while his Illinois federal court trial is pending due to his fear of contracting COVID-19, as TMZ reports. Steven Greenberg, the embattled singer’s attorney, filed a motion on Thursday (Mar. 26) in which Greenberg refers to coronavirus spreading globally, and the health risks that he believes Kelly is facing while being incarcerated at Chicago MCC.
“No matter what steps they take the sanitation will be substandard, the risk of an internal pandemic at the MCC is great,” Greenberg said. According to the “Bump n’ Grind” singer, social-distancing is impossible behind bars, soap is only available to inmates who can afford to purchase it from the commissary, and there’s not really any hand sanitizer available.
Kelly claims that there is only one large bottle of hand sanitizer on the visiting floor, but it’s labeled as for “STAFF ONLY.” Kelly said that forcing people to remain locked up under those conditions is “tantamount to making them drink poison.”
Kelly would like to be released on bond and has asserted that he’s open to electronic monitoring, although he noted that it’s not really necessary due to the current pandemic. Kelly said that he’s a “low risk” to go outside.
The singer said that he would live with his last remaining girlfriend, Joycelyn Savage, in the singer’s hometown of Chicago in an apartment complex. Last week, Kelly’s legal team was blocked from visiting the singer in prison due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Kelly noted that keeping his attorneys and other visitors from entering the prison doesn’t solve the issue of possible exposure because new inmates are always entering.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.