R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago on Wednesday, March 6, for not paying ex-wife Drea Kelly the child support money he owes her.
The 52-year-old singer owes Drea, 45, $161,633, according to TMZ, and he was handcuffed after failing to meet Wednesday’s deadline. The exes share three children together, daughter Joann, 21, and sons Jay, 19, and Robert, 17.
Kelly’s arrest comes just one week after he pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. He spoke out about the allegations in an interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King that aired on Tuesday, March 5.
“I will tell you this. People are going back to my past — that’s exactly what they’re trying to do — they’re going back to the past and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that to make of this stuff that’s going on now [feel] real to people,” the disgraced musician said of the charges against him. “Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true.”
Lifetime previously released Surviving R. Kelly, a six-part documentary series that details numerous accusations of predatory behavior, pedophilia and other forms of physical, mental, and sexual abuse against the “Ignition” rapper.
Kelly previously faced backlash in 1994 after marrying late singer Aaliyah when she was 15. He then faced child pornography charges years later, but was found not guilty in 2008.
Nearly 10 years later, in April 2018, the Time’s Up movement launched the #MuteRKelly campaign to condemn the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer in response to a 2017 BuzzFeed News report that he held several young women in a cult.
Kelly responded to the ordeal via a 19-minute song called “I Admit” in July 2018. “What’s the definition of a cult? What’s the definition of a sex slave? / Go to the dictionary, look it up / Let me know, I’ll be wait here,” the lyrics read. “Some like to get branded / And what some of these girls want, is too much for the radio station / Look, I’m just a man, y’all / Not a monster or beast / But I admit there are times when these girls are so fine, they’ll chill with a [n-word] for a week.”
The “Bump n’ Grind” singer also clapped back at John Legend, Steve Harvey and radio host Tom Joyner for publicly denouncing his alleged behavior. “I admit it, I love Steve Harvey / John Legend and Tom Joyner,” he notes. “They’re doing good in their lives right now, why would they wanna tear down another brother?”
Even more, Kelly shot down reports that he slept with underage women via the lyrics: “I admit I f–k with all the ladies, that’s both older and younger ladies / But tell me how they call it pedophile because that s–t is crazy / You may have your opinions, entitled to your opinions / But really, am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion?”