According to the newspaper, prosecutors for Cook County were set to appear in court on Friday to obtain an arrest warrant, while the 52-year-old singer’s first court date is scheduled for Friday, March 8.
CNN reported on Friday that the charges came after attorney Michael Avenatti claimed earlier this month that he handed over footage to authorities of the R&B artist allegedly having sex with a minor.
The news comes one month after Lifetime 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 him.
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 “Ignition” rapper 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 here waiting,” 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?”
Us Weekly has reached out to Kelly’s attorney for comment.
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