The trial date against R. Kelly is now set to start at the beginning of April 2021, as ruled by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.
Besides, it was alleged that the outcome of the case would be determined by an “anonymous and partially sequestered jury,” mostly because the controversial R&B mogul was notorious for trying to interfere with the decisions of prosecutors in the past.
This is not the first time that the “I Believe I Can Fly” performer is suspected of obstructing the legal proceedings against him.
Earlier this year, three of his friends were taken into custody for attempting to scare and buy off witnesses of his sex-trafficking and racketeering case.
In her ruling, Donnelly claimed the R&B icon had allegedly “secured witnesses’ silence, and in at least one instance to have suborned perjury, through bribes, blackmail, threats, and intimidation.”
“In short, empaneling an anonymous jury is appropriate given the seriousness of the charges, the defendant’s history of obstructing the judicial process, the potential for juror intimidation and the intensity of media attention given to this case,” Donnelly wrote in her ruling.
One of Kelly’s trusted associates, Michael Williams, tried to harass one of his alleged victims by setting her father’s vehicle on fire.
At the same time, another, Richard Arline Jr., attempted to bribe a witness with half a million dollars to change her story in court.
The third of Kelly’s friends, Donnell Russel, reportedly intimidated one of the women allegedly abused by the R&B star by calling her repeatedly.
According to the disgraced celebrity’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, Mr. Kelly was currently confined at Chicago’s federal jail, where he recently became the victim of a physical altercation with another prisoner.
Greenberg said, “Mentally, he’s probably in as bad of shape as I’ve seen him, but even though he was still hopeful about the outcome of the case, he’s just very beaten down physically and mentally.”
Meanwhile, reporters digging in Kelly’s finances claim that he has more than $1.5 million in a royalties account with his former label, Sony.
One person had this reaction to the news of the trial: “Well, we all know R. Kelly is not broke but they should be working for free because they ain’t doing nothing to help him get bail or get out so I don’t know what kind of lawyer he has I live in Halifax Nova Scotia t Canada and I could get him a good lawyer and he would have been out on bail his lawyers suck. I can’t wait for this trial….. and conviction and sentencing hearing.”
A critic shared his thoughts on the people debating on whether or not to listen to Kelly’s music: “I love R. Kelly’s music some of the most iconic R&B to come out of the states, but I will never ever listen to his music ever again. Micheal Jackson has been ghosted because white people do not play. Black people do not regard themselves; this is what I hear here; it’s nonsense and vile.”
An observer had the following to say about the money that was uncovered: “He has too many hits he wrote and produced to be broke broke! But that’s still not a lot of money for a man that has written so many hits! It’s probably broke in his world.”
Experts say Kelly’s legal troubles could go on for a long time, and some are wondering if he should get bail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.