Embattled R&B singer R. Kelly walked out of the Cook County Jail on Saturday for the second time in two weeks, after coming up with more than $161,000 in overdue child support payments.
Wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt under a bright red winter coat, Kelly briefly stopped to talk to a throng of reporters as he walked out of the jail at 27th Street and California Avenue with defense attorney Steve Greenberg just before noon, about an hour after he was able to put together the hefty sum of money.
“I promise you, we’re going to straighten all this stuff out,” Kelly said. “That’s all I can say right now. I promise you.”
A person who asked to remain anonymous turned in a check Saturday morning to the Cook County clerk’s office covering the full $161,663 that the judge presiding over Kelly’s divorce case ordered him to pay for his release, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.
Kelly was locked up for three nights starting Wednesday on a civil contempt charge, for skipping out on what his ex-wife said was more than eight months of child support for his three children, ages 16, 18 and 20.
Greenberg said the judge entered a gag order in the case, and that Kelly’s divorce lawyer would be in domestic relations court with the singer on Wednesday.
“We’re really not supposed to talk about that, but the man was paying $20,000 a month in child support,” Greenberg said. “He paid it religiously until he couldn’t make any more money because of all of these statements that are being made and all of the rumors and all of the innuendo and, frankly, because of the charges.”
The singer previously spent three nights in jail two weeks ago after he was unable to post bond after being charged in four sex abuse cases. Kelly’s bond was posted by a Romeoville woman who became friends with the singer after meeting him on Lake Michigan cruise, according Kelly’s close friend Don Russell.
On Wednesday, Kelly’s publicist said the singer had $60,000, but the judge insisted Kelly pay the full amount he owed to avoid jail. Kelly and dancer Andrea Kelly divorced in 2009 and he is supposed to make payments of $20,000 per month, plus education expenses.
In an emotional interview with Gayle King of CBS earlier this week, the singer said he had $350,000 in a bank account but had been unable to access the money after he was taken to jail on the sex abuse charges. Kelly has said that despite the millions of records he has sold during his decades-long career, his income tanked since the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series aired in January.
“Whatever this man does, people are going to criticize,” Greenberg said on Saturday. “I wasn’t there when he was doing the interview, but I don’t think he regrets it.”
Greenberg also said “arrangements either have been made or are being made” for Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage — the two women living with Kelly whose parents claim they’re being held against their will — to see their families.
“We’re not going to do this case and have these ‘To Catch a Predator’ kind of moments, or these ah-ha moments where people are going to get confronted,” Greenberg said. “The girls’ business is the girls’ business.”