R. Kelly's lawyers say the singer lost a sexual assault court case because he can't read

  • R. Kelly’s attorneys said the only reason he lost a sexual assault court case is because he can’t read.
  • The singer was sued in civil court by one of his alleged victims, but lost the case because he didn’t show up in court.
  • His lawyers said it’s because he couldn’t read the court summons.
  • “The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot,” his lawyers said in a new court filing.
  • The civil case was filed by one of Kelly’s four alleged victims in the criminal cases against him. He’s denied all the allegations.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

R. Kelly’s lawyers argued in a court motion that the R&B singer didn’t show up to a hearing on a civil sex abuse case because he can’t read.

On February 21, a woman filed a lawsuit against Kelly in civil court alleging sexual abuse. Kelly was served the lawsuit in early March while he was in jail for failing to pay more than $US160,000 in child support, a spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff’s office told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Kelly failed to show up at a hearing for the case on April 23,leading the judge to enter a default judgment against him, which means he automatically lost the case.

But two of Kelly’s new lawyers, Raed Shalabi and Zaid Abdallah, said in a motion filed on April 26 that he never should have gotten the court summons in the first place because he wasn’t able to read it. Kelly can’t read, they said.

“The defendant does not recall being served,” the filing said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot.”

The court filing said Kelly’s lawyer should have been served instead of him, or that it should have been served at his residence in Chicago’s Trump Tower instead of a jail cell.

Kelly has been open about his severe dyslexia. In his memoir “Soula Costa,” he wrote that his “heart sank” whenever a teacher asked him to read aloud, and that he regularly skipped classes to teach himself to play a piano in an abandoned music room.


Read more:
R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse after decades of accusations. Here are all the allegations against him.

Kelly only learned about the default judgment after media reports, the filing said. At the time, Darrell Johnson, his publicist, said Kelly doesn’t care about the lawsuit.

“We don’t care about the lawsuit,” Johnson told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The lawsuit means nothing to us.”

The person who filed the civil lawsuit against Kelly is also one of the four victims Cook County prosecutors identified in their criminal charges against him.

Those charges match a long pattern of sexual misconduct accusations against him that stretch back decades. Kelly has denied all the allegations against him.

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