The cash-strapped and disgraced R&B singer, R. Kelly asked a judge to allow him to fly to Dubai to perform in a series of concerts that he was booked in citing that he cannot schedule a job in the state of Illinois where he is currently staying. But the government of Dubai denied that these concerts exist.
In a motion filed by Kelly to a Chicago court last Wednesday, he requested the judge to allow him to travel to the Middle East to perform several concerts, citing his struggle to get a booking in the United States following his arrest in February.
According to the court document, R. Kelly is set to do three to five concerts in the Arab Gulf country, but there was no venue specified in his request. Kelly claims that he struggled to pay child support, legal fees, and other bills. Kelly blamed the cancellation of Illinois concerts, a contract with a record company, and streaming services removing his songs.
The request follows his bond condition in his sexual abuse case; Kelly is required to stay in Illinois unless he secures out-of-state travel from a court. This condition, as claimed by Kelly, has hurt his finances because he can’t find bookings. Furthermore, as part of the bond, the talented singer is ordered to surrender his passport and was prohibited from making contact with anyone below 18-years-old.
However, in a rare statement made by Dubai’s government, there was never any plans for a series of concerts of R. Kelly in Dubai; let alone a plan to meet the royal family.
“Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked,” Dubai’s government said in a statement. His lawyer reportedly also said that Kelly was scheduled to meet with the Dubai royal family, although they have denied the claims, stating that he “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance.”
In the court motion filed this past week, Kelly said that he “signed a contract to perform between 3-5 shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019.” The venues for the said concerts were never disclosed in the said motion, and interestingly, the United States does not have an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates and it is very convenient for Kelly to go to Dubai now that he is facing ten counts of sexual abuse charges. However, the recent court filing from Kelly claimed that the UAE would not want to harm their relations with the U.S. by harboring R. Kelly in Dubai.
“Mr. Kelly had a signed contract with a legitimate promoter, and any information that was included in the motion to travel was from that contract,” Greenberg told reporters in response to Dubai’s government’s statement. “We did not say he was invited by the royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them.”
Michael Avenatt, the lawyer representing most of the women involved in the R. Kelly case said that the courts should not allow Kelly’s abroad travel. He posted on his social media accounts that Kelly’s attorney has previously said that there were no concerts scheduled for Kelly and that he “doesn’t even like to fly.” If the courts would allow him to go to Dubai, said Avenatti, it will be a “travesty” because he will never return.
“Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, previously told the court at the bail hearing a month ago that there were no concerts scheduled and that “Kelly doesn’t even like to fly.” It will be a travesty if this motion is granted – he will never return,” Avenatti wrote on Twitter.
R. Kelly is charged by four women with ten counts of sexual abuse against three underage girls and one woman. Both of the women opposing the use of a camera in the courtroom during the trial were underage during the time that the sexual abuse was supposedly committed.
Last week, he filed a motion to see the video surveillance evidence that the prosecution said would send the singer in jail together with his request to be allowed to fly to Dubai.
New evidence has surfaced against R. Kelly including a video where he was caught during the act of the abuse and a t-shirt submitted by one of the victims containing Kelly’s DNA. Foxx alleges that the singer also spat on his victims during the attacks. Kelly’s legal team requested to see the aforementioned videotapes so that they can review it and prepare a defense. /apr