The women all told reporters that throughout the creation of the docuseries both R. Kelly and Donnell Russell, Kelly’s previous manager, attempted to keep them quiet and get them to stop telling their stories. Before the docuseries was set to air on Lifetime in January of 2019, Kelly and Russell allegedly threatened the women and production with various courses of legal action.
Going a step or two further than legal action, one of R. Kelly’s men even threatened to “shoot up” a premier screening of the docuseries in New York City in December of 2018. Production and event coordinators had to take this threat seriously and cancelled the screening event. This threat is the one that led to the lawsuit, awarding each of the 6 victims in the docuseries between $1.1 and $2.25 million.
At the beginning of the month, reports show that a New York district judge signed an order for R. Kelly to use his royalties to cover his $506,950.26 restitution balance. Universal Music Group, have reported over $560,000 in Kelly’s royalties, so he has more than enough money to oblige.
Currently 56 years old, R. Kelly is serving 30 years in a New York prison for racketeering and sex trafficking. He is also convicted for his federal sexual assault case, in which he received a 20 year sentence from a Chicago judge, however those sentences are being served concurrently with the exception of one year.
About 99% of the music industry has washed their hands of the disgraced singer after he was charged with multiple assaults and sex crimes. Timbaland has been one of very few to continue to believe in R. Kelly, saying that he is still “the king of R&B,” and telling reporters that he avoids “mix[ing] music up with personal,” and thus cannot deny the quality of the music Kelly has created. Thankfully, most of the public disagree with that idea considering the extent of misconduct and assault that R. Kelly participated in.
Hopefully the $10.5 million and knowing that R. Kelly will remain in prison until he is elderly brings the 6 victims some form of peace.