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R. Kelly wants to lower his child-support payments

R. Kelly walks out of the Daley Center after a hearing in domestic relations court, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

R. Kelly was back in domestic relations court Wednesday morning, a week after he was taken into custody for failing to pay more than $160,000 in child support.

Kelly arrived about 9:20 a.m. Since the case is sealed, the courtroom was closed to the public.

Kelly’s publicist Darrell Johnson said the hearing was “just procedure” and Kelly’s camp would be asking the judge to lower the amount of his monthly child support payments. Kelly is supposed to pay $21,000 a month for his three children, who are 21, 20 and 17, according to Johnson.

Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told reporters there would be “no change in anything.” He said the judge has imposed a gag order on everyone involved in the child-support case, which dates back to 2009. The next hearing in the case is set for May.

Last week, Kelly was sent back to jail over his failure to pay the child support he owes to his ex-wife. He was released Saturday after the requisite $161,633 was paid on his behalf. Johnson said the money was collected from family and friends of Kelly.

The singer — who was released from the jail just weeks earlier after he was charged with 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse — has maintained that he is unable to go on tour and make money given the intense public scrutiny stemming from his criminal case and decades of allegations of sexual impropriety.

“I think everyone knows if you can’t play a show, if you can’t go out on tour, if they’re not streaming your music anymore, obviously you’re going to have financial problems,” Greenberg said Wednesday.

As Kelly was inside the courtroom for the hourlong hearing, Johnson questioned the very necessity of the child support payments given the ages of Kelly’s three children.

Kelly’s ex-wife, Johnson noted, has not attended recent hearings in the case.

“We should wonder why she’s never come,” Johnson said. “She’s got $161,000 [and] she never shows up. Why are her kids in their 20s getting child support?”

“Why is he paying child support for grown kids?” he added.

Asked to characterize Kelly’s current mindset, Greenberg said he was “amazed that [Kelly is] able to hold up.”

“I have never met anyone who’s under an onslaught from so many different places — maybe Trump, that would be the only other one, but it’s different — anyone who’s under such an onslaught from every which way, from so many different places, personally and professionally,” Greenberg said.

“And I admire the fact that he’s able to get up in the morning and he’s still able to make his music, that he’s able to show up in court and hold his head high.”

READ MORE: The R. Kelly Investigation