R. Kelly’s legal problems are well known by the general public at this point, but some might still be surprised to learn that he could have a $10.5 million judgment leveled against him in a lawsuit without his even being aware it was happening. And for that reason he’s also saying he shouldn’t be on the hook for the sum.
The suit was filed against Kelly and Donnell Russell, his alleged former manager. It was filed by six woman who claimed that the two resorted to a mass shooting threat to shut down a New York City screening of the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” in December of 2018.
Kelly has filed legal documents claiming that he was never alerted to this particular lawsuit, and would have defended himself against the charges had he been so. Currently incarcerated in North Carolina, Kelly says he has so many criminal and civil cases on his plate that it’s easy to lose track, and that he’s also recently hired new lawyers since he was sentenced to prison. He’s even claiming that it’s possible the lawsuit was never delivered to him behind bars at all.
The legal documents highlight Kelly’s dependence on attorneys for interpreting lawsuits and other paperwork that might come on, as well as disputing the claim that Russell was ever his manager. He also denies being part of any effort to prevent “Surviving R. Kelly” from being screened, and that if Russell really phoned in a gun threat as alleged it was without his input or knowledge.
A judge will have to decide if the previous ruling will stand, or if Kelly will get another chance to defend himself against the suit. Of course, even if the ruling goes unthwarted, collecting on it may be a challenge unto itself.