R Kelly has reportedly been “viciously beaten” by a fellow inmate in a Chicago prison.
TMZ reports the 53-year-old singer was jumped in his cell while he was lying in bed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he is currently being held while awaiting trial for sex crime charges.
Sources told the website the inmate was frustrated at the I Believe I Can Fly singer because of Kelly protesters outside the jail who forced the facility into lockdown a number of times.
Kelly reportedly didn’t suffer any serious injuries but was moved to solitary confinement.
His lawyer, Steven Greenberg, told the New York Post: “That’s the only place they can protect him.”
“My understanding is, everytime there is a pro-R Kelly protest outside of the jail, they lock down the entire facility,” Greenberg added. “When they do this, inmates don’t get their commissary, they don’t get their shower, stuff like that and since they’re fairly sporadic anyway, they get upset. So they’re penalising everyone in the facility because people are protesting in support of Kelly.”
Greenberg said guards acted quickly but was concerned Kelly might not be so lucky if it happened again.
“Sure this time the guards were able to quickly stop something from happening but what happens if someone goes in his cell with a shank or something like that? Or the guards are busy doing something else?” Greenberg said.
“We were fortunate this time but who’s to say next time?”
Earlier in April, Kelly’s sexual abuse trial in New York was postponed from July 7 to September 27 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kelly, who faces a total of 18 federal counts including child pornography, kidnapping and forced labour, had filed a motion asking to be released on bail, citing several cases of coronavirus in the Chicago jail where he is being held.
US District Judge Ann Donnelly did not rule on the motion, noting a judge overseeing a separate federal case against Kelly in Chicago would also need to sign off on a potential release.
Prosecutors in the Chicago case charged Kelly last July with engaging in sex acts with five minors, recording some of his alleged abuse on video, and using threats to keep victims quiet.
Kelly denies all claims against him.
The world-famous singer has been plagued by allegations for decades, with multiple women coming out and accusing him of having sex with them when they were underage.
Several of Kelly’s accusers finally united their voices to share their horrifying stories of being trapped in a “sex cult” in the six-part series, which was watched by a record number of people in the US.
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The first episode mainly profiles Kelly’s childhood, living in a housing project in Chicago with his mother, Joanne, and his three siblings.
Kelly has admitted in the past he was sexually abused by an older woman within the family from the age of seven.
The episode covers his rise to stardom, which happened almost overnight, and his obsession with younger girls, before he illegally married then 15-year-old singer Aaliyah.