Feds say R. Kelly crisis manager bribed Cook County official after ‘Surviving R. Kelly’
The new allegation surfaced in a lengthy court filing in which prosecutors asked a judge permission to admit allegations of uncharged crimes during Kelly’s racketeering trial in Brooklyn, set to begin next month.
Federal prosecutors in New York say a crisis manager for R&B star R. Kelly bribed a clerk in Cook County to get information about the singer’s legal trouble following the release of the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly.”
The new allegation surfaced in a lengthy court filing in which prosecutors asked a judge permission to admit allegations of uncharged crimes — including sexual abuse of minors, unlawful imprisonment, hush-money payments and physical abuse — during Kelly’s racketeering trial in Brooklyn, set to begin next month.
The document also alleges Kelly had a member of his entourage pay an Illinois state employee $500 to create a fake ID in 1994 for Kelly’s then-protege, the singer Aaliyah Haughton, who was 15 at the time.
The feds say they want to introduce evidence of Kelly’s sexual abuse of Aaliyah to show he married her on Aug. 31, 1994 — after obtaining the fake ID — so she could not be forced to testify against him. Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.
Another claim made in the document involves Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of a boy he met at a McDonald’s in 2006, when the boy was 17. It said Kelly invited the boy to his studio, purportedly to help the boy with his musical aspirations. Kelly allegedly asked the boy what he would do to succeed in the music business and then had sexual contact with the boy.
The feds say the boy then introduced Kelly to a close male friend who was 16 or 17. They said Kelly started a sexual relationship with that person several years later.
Meanwhile, the bribery of the Cook County clerk allegedly occurred around February 2019. That’s when someone claiming to be a crisis manager for Kelly told him he had “two people” who “know a lot” and told Kelly to “figure out what you can do for them.”
Kelly allegedly replied, “What you do, man, is write something on a piece of paper and give me what I should tip the bailiff. What I should tip the, uh, the valet. Like when my uncle come up here and say ‘Rob, the valet guy, he parked the car over there.’ I say, ‘So what should I give him?’ He say, ‘Well, 20, 30, 30 dollars.’ I gave him 30 dollars. So what I’m saying is I don’t know that number.”
Later during that same conversation, the crisis manager allegedly told Kelly he had paid a Cook County clerk $2,500 and obtained a “burner” phone for the clerk to help get information about Kelly’s legal trouble. Cook County prosecutors charged Kelly with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February 2019.
“That’s done,” the crisis manager allegedly said of the payment to the clerk. “You don’t know nothing.”
Kelly allegedly replied, “Exactly.”
The feds say they recovered a recording of the conversation by searching Kelly’s phone.
Prosecutors in the latest filings also argue that Kelly should be barred from “introducing evidence or making arguments as to the sexual behavior” of his victims “with individuals other than the defendant” or with others at Kelly’s direction. Such evidence is allowed only in a few narrow instances, they argue, under federal trial rules that impose “clear limits on a defendant’s ability to introduce evidence that a victim engaged in other sexual behavior or has a propensity to engage in sexual acts.”
Kelly’s indictment in Brooklyn alleges he led an “enterprise” made up of his managers, bodyguards, drivers and other employees who helped him recruit women and girls for illegal sex. A federal indictment filed against him in Chicago also alleges child pornography and obstruction of justice.