R. Kelly taken into custody after failing to pay $161K in child support

Nicholas Sakelaris, Karen Butler and Daniel Uria

March 6 (UPI) -- Rhythm and blues singer R. Kelly was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after failing to comply with a judge's order to pay back child support.

The artist, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was found in contempt of court and ordered into custody during a hearing before Judge Lori Rosen after he failed to produce the $161,663 in back child support for his ex-wife, the Chicago Tribune reported.


"He's in our custody," Cook County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.

Kelly's publicist, Darryll Johnson, said he arrived at the hearing with between $50,000 and $60,000, but the judge demanded the full amount be paid.

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"As you know, he hasn't worked in a long time," Johnson said.

Kelly was previously been detained for several days after failing to post 10 percent of his $1 million bail until a 47-year-old woman who indicated herself to be "a friend" of the singer's paid $100,000 for his release.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kelly spoke out for the first time since his initial arrest about the criminal sexual abuse charges against him in Illinois, in an interview with CBS News.

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Kelly faces 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting four women, three of whom were underage at the time. The allegations date back to 1998. He bonded out Feb. 25 with his bail set at $1 million.

In an interview airing on CBS This Morning Wednesday, Kelly said it's "not true" he had sex with underage girls, held women against their will or sexually assaulted them. He emphasized that he defeated two cases and similar charges years ago.

"People are going back to my past, OK? That's exactly what they're doing," he said. "They're going back to the past, and they trying to add all of this stuff now to that. To make all of this stuff that's going on now feels real to people."

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The singer in the interview cast doubt on the accusations, saying anyone famous can be accused of impropriety in the present social and political climates. He also pointed a finger at musicians John Legend and Lady Gaga for publicly condemning him.

"I have nothing against none of these artists," he said. "But I think it's not professional for them to do that. Because something like this can happen to any artist. Anybody famous.


"Anybody famous can get accused of so many different things."

The charges against Kelly followed the release of a documentary in January called Surviving R. Kelly.

"Why would I? How stupid would it be for R. Kelly -- with all that I've through in my way, way past -- to hold somebody [against their will]?" he asked. "How stupid would I be to do that?"

"Quit playing. I didn't do this stuff! This is not me!," Kelly said, emotional, at one point of the interview. "I'm fighting for my [expletive] life!"

There are also accusations that Kelly runs a sex cult. Kelly lives with two women, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage. Savage's parents have said their daughter was kidnapped by Kelly. Savage told CBS This Morning she is living with the singer on her own free will.

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who said he found a tape from the 1990s that shows the singer having sex with an underage girl, said it doesn't matter how long ago the cases happened.

"R. Kelly's tears are out of fear and despair," Avenatti tweeted Wednesday. "Because he knows that after over two decades of sexually abusing underage girls, we blew this wide open and have him and his enablers dead to rights."


Kelly has a court date on March 22.

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