Ahead of a recent club appearance and nearly almost two months after he was arrested on sexual abuse charges, R. Kelly asked the media to “take it easy” on him in a new video.
The last couple of months have seen Kelly, 52, face tremendous backlash over resurfaced sexual abuse claims, especially as revealed in the explosive “Surviving R. Kelly” docu-series, and after two recent arrests, the R&B singer is appealing to the media to go easy on him as he tries to make money.
"Yo, this is your boy Kells, and I got an event to do tonight in Springfield, Illinois,” announced Kelly, who sported large sunglasses and held a cigar in one hand.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” crooner added:
"I want the media to take it easy on me, man. This is how I got to get paid now for right now, so I gotta go do this event and it's a party. So when you see me in the club, with a couple of drinks in my hand, and chilling, please, take it easy. Appreciate it y’all. Thanks!"
According to USA Today, Kelly’s club appearance was at a place called the Dirty South Lounge in Springfield. The singer reportedly arrived around 1:30 am early on Sunday and hung out with fans for about a half hour. He also performed his hit song “Bump ‘N’ Grind” for 28 seconds before the approximately 100 guests who paid $50 to $100 to see him.
According to a WICS-TV reporter, Brittany Hardaway, the club had to reduce ticket prices due to low turnout, and even those who came were said to have been disappointed with Kelly’s performance.
The Springfield appearance marks one of the embattled singer’s first public appearances since he was charged in February with a total of 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse towards four women.
Kelly’s financial woes became evident not too long after when he could not produce $100,000, ten percent of the $1 million needed to bail him out of jail.
At the time, Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, revealed that his client "really doesn't have any money at this point" due to "mismanagement," "hangers-on" and "bad deals." Eventually, a fan of the singer, Valencia Love, came forward to post bail.
Two weeks after leaving jail for the sexual abuse-related charges, Kelly was back in custody for failure to pay over $160,000 in child support to his ex-wife, Drea Kelly, with whom he shares three kids. As with the first arrest, another benefactor who chose to remain anonymous bailed Kelly out of jail.
The “Happy People” singer, who was previously cleared off all charges in a 2008 child pornography trial, faced renewed sexual abuse allegations after the premiere of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly.” The docuseries, which aired in parts, detailed Kelly’s alleged physical and sexual abuse of several women including his ex-wife.
Kelly, meanwhile, has continued to maintain his innocence. He protested his innocence last month in an emotionally charged TV interview with CBS’s Gayle King.
Two of his current live-in girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, also spoke with King and defended Kelly, saying those who believe the allegations against him are stupid.
Kelly last appeared in court for the sexual abuse-related charges on March 22 and is due back in court on May 7.
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