Musician R. Kelly was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after failing to comply with a judge’s order that he pay more than $161,000 in back child support.
More than an hour after Kelly entered a closed court hearing in the Daley Center, he walked out accompanied by Cook County sheriff’s deputies. “He’s in our custody,” said Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
The hearing was held by Judge Lori Rosen, who last month warned Kelly that he faced jail time unless he paid the child support and interest. During Wednesday’s hearing, Kelly was found in contempt and ordered into custody, according to Cara Smith, chief policy officer at the sheriff’s office.
Kelly must pay $161,663 to be released from jail, she said. His next court date is March 13.
The arrest comes less than two weeks after Kelly put up $100,000 to be released from custody on criminal sexual abuse charges.
Records connected to Kelly’s divorce case have been kept secret and out of public view. But paperwork on the back child support was made public in Kelly’s criminal court file. Kelly and his ex-wife have three children together.
Kelly’s publicist, Darryll Johnson, said the musician showed up with $50,000 or $60,000 but the judge wanted the full amount paid. “As you know, he hasn’t worked in a long time,” Johnson said.
When asked how Kelly can still live in the Trump Tower, he replied that Kelly “has some money.”
Kelly was “happy” when he arrived for the hearing, not thinking he would be jailed, Johnson said. But now he is “depressed, deflated and upset.”
Johnson said he didn’t know where Kelly would get the money he needs to be released. The woman who posted Kelly’s bail after the criminal charges was at the Daley Center on Wednesday but left without speaking to reporters.
Alison Motta, the attorney for Kelly’s ex-wife, would only confirm that the ex-wife did not appear at the hearing.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, was in court but did not comment.
Kelly, 52, was indicted last month on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Cook County prosecutors allege he abused four victims, three of them underage girls, over a span of 12 years. Kelly and his attorney have vehemently denied the accusations.
Bond was set at $1 million on the criminal charges, but Kelly was unable to post the necessary $100,000 until after he spent a weekend in custody. Court records indicate a 47-year-old Romeoville woman posted his bail, identifying herself on the bond slip as Kelly’s “friend.”
Accusations of predatory sexual behavior have dogged the singer for years. Cook County prosecutors charged him in 2002 with child pornography, saying he made a sex tape with his teenage goddaughter, but a jury acquitted him in a sensational trial in 2008.
In the latest charges, prosecutors allege Kelly tried to force oral sex on his 24-year-old hairdresser in 2003 — while he was free on bond on the then-pending child pornography charges.
Prosecutors also alleged that Kelly solicited an underage girl outside his 2008 criminal trial and later sexually abused her; that he carried on a yearlong sexual relationship with a girl he had met in 1998 when she was celebrating her 16th birthday; and that he videotaped himself having sex with a young girl at his home in Olympia Fields in the late 1990s.