R. Kelly’s ex allowed to use singer’s royalty checks for back child support

R. Kelly’s ex-wife will be able to skim child support payments from his music royalties, after the jailed R&B singer again fell months behind on payments to his three children.

After a brief hearing Monday at the Daley Center— most of it conducted in Cook County Judge Lori Rosen’s chambers — lawyers for Kelly and his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, emerged with an order allowing the singer’s $20,000 monthly payments to be deducted from payouts from his music distributors. 

Kelly in May paid child support to cover payments due through July, but has not made a payment since, said Alison Motta, lawyer for Andrea Kelly. 

Kelly owes more than $60,000, Motta said.

Kelly has been jailed at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center, after prosecutors in July announced charges against the singer for allegedly making pornographic videos with an underage girl, and for bribing and intimidating witnesses in the 2008 state trial on child porn charges that ended with Kelly’s acquittal.

Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said the singer’s accounts and assets were seized by federal authorities after his July indictment. Kelly was dropped by his record label earlier this year, and while streaming music services have continued to make his songs available, they have ceased to promote Kelly’s music, limiting the income generated from his catalog.

He has no access to his information and no real knowledge of his finances and if he has adequate funds to make payments, he would make payments,” Greenberg said. “He has never shirked his responsibilities.”

In interviews before he was jailed on the federal charges, Kelly had said his finances were in disarray despite a decades-long career as a chart-topping artist. 

After his arrest for sexual abuse charges in Cook County in February, Kelly spent three nights in jail because he was unable to raise the $100,000 he needed to post bond. 

A few weeks later, he was locked up again over an unpaid balance for child support and related expenses that totaled more than $160,000, and again had to spend three nights in lockup before he raised the six-figure sum he needed to get out of jail.

Greenberg’s co-counsel in the child support case, Lisa Damico, withdrew from the case in September and has asked Rosen to order Kelly to pay her $12,000 in unpaid fees.

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