We now know how R. Kelly was able to pay nearly $170,000 in back child support to be released from a Chicago jail over the weekend. According to his publicist, Darrell Johnson, the singer has “a lot of friends from all across Chicago” who pulled the money together to pay off his debt.
In an exclusive interview with Houston’s KPRC, Johnson also said his client was initially feeling “depressed” after being taken into custody for failure to pay back child support. However, Johnson claimed R. Kelly ultimately concluded, “Sitting in jail is not that bad when you’re sitting in jail for your kids.” Johnson also said Kelly wasn’t a deadbeat dad, but he “just didn’t have the money” to pay child support.
Johnson hasn’t known Kelly for long and admitted as much during his interview with KPRC. Last August, Kelly’s former publicist, lawyer, and assistant all resigned after new sexual misconduct allegations against the singer hit the news.
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Kelly will be heading back to family court on Wednesday for a child support hearing, and he’ll be returning to criminal court on the March 26.
Johnson said Kelly, who has maintained his innocence throughout, is hoping for a speedy trial and “wants to go to court quick.”
If convicted on all charges Kelly could face between 30 and 70 years in prison. But Johnson said the singer is ready to offer a vigorous defense.
“His mind right now is getting ready for battle,” Johnson said. “He’s getting ready for trial.”