R. Kelly's lawyer says the R&B star's finances are 'a mess'

Chicago Sun-Times/Victor Hilitski via Associated PressMusician R. Kelly leaves his Chicago studio on his way to surrender to police Friday night, Feb. 22, 2019.
  • An attorney for R. Kelly argued in court Saturday a judge should set a reasonable bond because the R&B star was having financial difficulties.
  • “This is someone who should be wealthy at this stage of his career,” lawyer Steve Greenberg told reporters.
  • Kelly faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse – and the accusations that have racked up against him in recent years have damaged his earning power.
  • Kelly has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

A Chicago judge set bond at $US1 million on Saturday afternoon for the R&B star R. Kelly, who faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Kelly will be allowed to go free while he awaits trial if he can come up with 10% of that sum – $US100,000 – though his attorney Steve Greenberg told reporters that was easier said than done.

Arguing for the judge to name a reasonable bond, Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg conceded that Kelly’s “finances are a mess” in large part due to the fallout from the multiple allegations against him, which have damaged his earning power.

“This is someone who should be wealthy at this stage of his career,” Greenberg told reporters after the bond hearing. “And through mismanagement, through hangers-on, and bad contracts, and bad deals, and bad leases like he had in his studio. He really doesn’t have any money at this point. I don’t even think he owns the rights to ‘I Believe I Can Fly.'”

Read more: R. Kelly prosecutors read graphic accounts of artist’s alleged sexual abuse in court

Kelly was recently dropped his his record label in the wake of extensive reporting on allegations that Kelly preyed upon women when they were underage. A recent six-part Lifetime documentary series featured interviews with a number of women who accused Kelly of abusing them.

Kelly has also struggled to earn residuals from his work, as a growing list of musicians have yanked their collaborations with Kelly from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The platforms are also under pressure to remove all of his music from their services.

Though Kelly had announced an upcoming tour in Europe, those dates are now in doubt in the wake of the charges against him, and at least one of the venues has warned it could cancel the concert, according to the Associated Press.

During the bond hearing on Saturday, Greenberg also reportedly cited a recent child support judgment as cause for Kelly’s financial jeopardy. Kelly reportedly owes his ex-wife nearly $US200,000 in support, according to TMZ – as one of the reasons Kelly was in financial jeopardy.

Nevertheless, Greenberg said he was “very happy” with the bond the judge set, and said he was confident Kelly could pull the money together within days.

“He’s trying to get it together,” Greenberg said. “He doesn’t have it in the bank, sitting in a shoe box, sitting anywhere.”

Greenberg also denied all of the allegations laid out by prosecutors during the bond hearing, and vowed to fight each of the charges.

“We haven’t seen anything, any reason to believe that these allegations are credible,” Greenberg said.

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