R. Kelly message from jail: ‘Leave my music alone!!!’

The Chicago Sun-Times received the message through an email service for federal inmates. In it, Kelly appears to complain about the theft of his music, his health troubles, and the loss of his career, money and family.

SHARE R. Kelly message from jail: ‘Leave my music alone!!!’
R. Kelly walks with supporters out of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on June 6, 2019.

R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse June 6, 2019.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

Imprisoned R&B star R. Kelly appeared to release a rare public statement from jail Tuesday, imploring people to “just leave my music alone, because it is all I have left, it’s all my fans have left.”

“And they deserve to be able to listen to the music despite what people try and say about me, what they think about me or even do to me,” the message read. “So please, again, LEAVE MY MUSIC ALONE!!!”

The Chicago Sun-Times received the message through an email service for federal inmates. Jennifer Bonjean, Kelly’s defense attorney, said the note appeared to be an authentic message from her client, though she said it was likely typed by someone else.

Kelly purportedly can’t read or write.

“He has people inside who he dictates to,” Bonjean said. “That’s how he writes me all the time.”

A federal jury in Chicago this year found Kelly guilty of three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor into criminal sexual activity. The jury found that he sexually abused a 14-year-old girl on camera after she asked him to be her godfather in the 1990s and that he enticed two additional girls into criminal sexual activity.

Kelly is already serving a 30-year prison sentence for a racketeering conviction in New York, and he faces sentencing in the Chicago case in February. He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

The new message seems to respond to last week’s news that a collection of Kelly songs had appeared on major music apps. Bonjean told the Sun-Times that “we’ve been investigating this unauthorized release of his music, that was stolen.”

In the note, Kelly not only appears to complain about the theft of his music. He also complains about the loss of his career, his money and his family, as well as his health troubles. The note mentions that, while behind bars, Kelly has suffered from COVID-19, diabetes and tuberculosis. It says he’s had two surgeries. 

It also mentions the attack on Kelly by a fellow inmate in 2020.

Echoing her closing argument during Kelly’s trial this summer, Bonjean told the Sun-Times that “the criminal justice system is set up to respond to accusations, but you know, that doesn’t seem to be enough for some people.”

Here is the full message received by the Sun-Times: 

LEAVE MY MUSIC ALONE!!! They already got me in here.

They took my voice.

They messed my whole career up.

They took all my money.

They took my kids away from me.

They took me from my family, my friends and all of my fans.

I have had all my emails and phone calls stolen and shared with government witnesses and God knows who else.

I have gotten tuberculosis while being in here.

I have gotten COVID twice while being in here.

I have been diagnosed with diabetes while being in here.

I have had two surgeries while being in here.

I have gotten attacked while I was sleeping, and had my rib cracked and my jaw fractured while being in here.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD while being in here.

I wish they would just leave my music alone, because it is all I have left, it’s all my fans have left.

And they deserve to be able to listen to the music despite what people try and say about me, what they think about me or even do to me.

So please, again,

LEAVE MY MUSIC ALONE!!!

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