R. Kelly Files Lawsuit Against United States For Seizing Commissary Money

The disgraced R&B singer is suing the government for the $28,000 he had in his canteen that was used to settle a judgment levied against him.

R. Kelly is suing the United States.

HipHopDX reports that the convicted singer has filed a lawsuit to have his commissary funds returned—they were allegedly seized by the federal government to settle a judgment levied against him.

Per court documents, the initial hearing for the suit is set for  Monday (March 18). Kayla Bensing, the Assistant United States Attorney, will represent the United States. 

“The defendant is appealing his conviction and the government’s seizure of his substantial Bureau of Prisons commissary account to satisfy the financial penalties imposed in the case,” read the announcement of the upcoming hearing which will be livestreamed.

In March 2023, Heather Williams was the first victim to successfully sue Kelly. She was granted access to his music royalties following a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court. Williams set to receive compensation before Midwest Commercial Funding, a property management company that also won a lawsuit against Kelly for $3.5 million in unpaid rent at a Chicago studio. 

R. Kelly Says He Wasn’t Aware of $10.5M Lawsuit Loss Over Threat to Screen Documentary

According to her lawsuit, Williams claimed that Kelly had repeated sexual contact with her beginning when she was only 16 years old in 1998.

In August 2023, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly ordered Universal Music Group, Kelly’s label, to release more than $500,000 in royalties along with another $28,000, that was earmarked for his prison canteen.

The lawsuit is just the latest legal issue that Kelly is embroiled in while serving a 30-year prison sentence for several charges of child pornography and sex trafficking. In January, he claimed that he wasn’t aware that a group of women was awarded a $10.5 million judgment over alleged threats that he made in an attempt to cancel a screening of the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” If he had known that the suit had been filed, Kelly argued, he would have fought the lawsuit.

Kelly also claims that he needs his attorneys to explain the legal documents to him because he "cannot read or understand words beyond that of a grade-schooler.”

Kelly, along with Donnell Russell, his manager at the time who received a one-year prison sentence in 2022,  was hit with allegations of threatening” to silence the six women who shared accounts of their alleged encounters with the R&B singer in the docuseries. Kelly and Russell also allegedly threatened to take legal action against the women and the producers of the series. 

In the latest court documents, Kelly claims that Russell was never his manager and believes Russell should be held responsible for any legal action if he threatened to stop the screening because "he did that for his own reasons."

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