Add toe trouble to R. Kelly’s many problems

The embattled R&B singer was a no-show to court Wednesday. His attorney says he is in a walking boot.

SHARE Add toe trouble to R. Kelly’s many problems
Musician R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in June after a status hearing in his criminal sexual abuse case.

Musician R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in June after a status hearing in his criminal sexual abuse case.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Things keep getting worse for R&B singer R. Kelly, it seems. 

Three months after his arrest by the FBI on a slew of sex-crime charges, Kelly’s attorney has already complained about his client’s various health troubles in the federal jail in Chicago, not to mention the conditions there. But Wednesday, he disclosed another cringe-worthy ailment.

Kelly developed a toe infection and had a toenail removed. Now, he’s in a walking boot.

Pressed by reporters after court, attorney Steve Greenberg could not say which toe — or even which foot —  troubled Kelly. But the attorney blamed the toe when explaining to a judge why Kelly didn’t want to come to court for a status hearing in his federal case here. He said there was concern another inmate might step on Kelly’s feet during the transfer from the jail. 

“It wouldn’t be good if someone stepped on his toe,” Greenberg said. 

Kelly has been jailed while facing 18 serious criminal counts in federal indictments in Chicago and Brooklyn. In Chicago alone, he faces 13 counts revolving around child pornography, enticing a minor into illegal sexual activity and a conspiracy to obstruct justice — alleging Kelly thwarted his state court child pornography prosecution in Cook County a decade ago with threats and payoffs. That case ended with Kelly’s acquittal. 

A trial in the federal case in Chicago is set for April. In Brooklyn, a trial has been set for May.

Few additional details came out during Wednesday’s hearing in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber. Kelly’s co-defendant, Derrel McDavid, asked Leinenweber this month to dismiss, on statute of limitations grounds, the count in the indictment alleging a conspiracy to obstruct justice. Kelly moved to join McDavid in the request, but Leinenweber isn’t expected to rule until after Jan. 1. The judge set a new status date for Feb. 13. 

After court, Greenberg assured reporters, “I’m sure we’ll be back long before then.” But he wouldn’t say why. 

“That’s for me to know,” Greenberg said. “And you’ll find out.”

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