R. Kelly is behind bars awaiting trial on several sex crime charges. While the singer has claimed he is broke, bills are still due and now a judge has ordered his back rent to be paid.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Kelly owes his former landlord, Midwest Commercial Funding, $1.5 million in back rent. A judge has ordered Sony to pay the landlord with R. Kelly’s money in royalties. According to RollingStone.com, Kelly’s record label is RCA Records, which is owned and operated by Sony. It wasn’t until recent pressure from protests by advocates and fans that RCA broke ties with Kelly and no longer features him as one of their artists.
The Chicago Tribune reported on Nov. 30 that Cook County Judge Patrick Heneghan wrote in the order, “Sony is directed and ordered to turn over any sums accruing to Kelly’s royalty account in the future, up to the total sum of MCF’s judgment.”
In addition, the judge stated what is leftover after paying Kelly’s back rent, will go to an unidentified victim who is still awaiting the $4 million dollars she was awarded from a 2019 judgement.
In August, Kelly claimed he was broke and unable to finance his legal troubles, instead relying on a fan-generated GoFundMe page for bail-out purposes. However, he was accused of hiding a secret bank account from federal authorities with over a million dollars in it.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Kelly opened the bank account back in March of 2019 — about three months prior to his arrest — under a business called SomeBrotherLuv LLC and assigned the funds from his royalties to go to that account. At least $1.2 million was deposited into the account in 2019.
The account managed to go undetected because it was reportedly opened under someone else's name. Prosecutors stumbled upon the account details after they subpoenaed the bank records of one of his attorneys representing him in Brooklyn, who accused the feds of going on a “fishing expedition.”
The 53-year-old stands accused of several sex crime charges, including child pornography, racketeering, and sex trafficking, across New York, Minnesota and Chicago. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.