The government of Dubai is pushing back against claims by R. Kelly’s team that he was planning to perform concerts within the city.
The Grammy-winning singer reportedly sought permission from an Illinois judge to travel to the United Arab Emirates despite facing sexual abuse charges.
Dubai’s Media Office also denied the claims by his lawyer in court that Kelly had plans to meet with the sheikhdom’s ruling Al Maktoum family.
"Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked," a statement by the office read. "[R. Kelly] has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance."
In a court filing last week, Steven A. Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, claimed his client needed to raise money to pay his child support and other “child-related expenses.”
"Before he was arrested Mr. Kelly had signed a contract to perform between 3-5 shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019," the filing read. "He requests permission to travel to Dubai for the shows. While there he is supposed to meet with the royal family." That filing did not specify on where in Dubai Kelly was allegedly slated to perform. Furthermore there was no publicity or advertising by any promoter in the UAE regarding an R. Kelly performance, nor did anyone in the entertainment industry know about a concert.
The concert in Dubai does raise questions because the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates, which means Kelly could go to Dubai and not return.
On February 22, Robert Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage girls and one adult woman. He is facing up to 70 years in prsion. The charges come in the wake of the eye-opening Lifetime mini-series Surviving R. Kelly. R. Kelly has staunchly denied ever abusing anyone.