Singer R. Kelly turned himself in to authorities over the weekend after he was indicted on ten counts of criminal sexual abuse. The new charges grew out of a massive amount of new attention paid to the accusations made by many women against Kelly over the years.
Kelly’s bail was set at $1 million, with a $100,000 bond — and Kelly has some volunteers asking to pay it for him.
According to a Sunday tweet by Chicago reporter Will Lee, “a court clerk just told me their office was receiving calls from female #RKelly fans wanting to know how to post bail for him. The love is real, I guess.”
As depicted in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary, which aired on Lifetime in January, female fans of the singer have showed up in support of him throughout the many years he has faced accusations of abuse, including when he went on trial in 2008. This has continued, to some degree, even as more accusers have come forward with their stories about Kelly — and as the #MeToo movement has brought the issue of sexual abuse further into the cultural forefront.
Kelly, per Fox News, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday, and appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four different victims, some of whom are underage.
Kelly’s attorney told Fox that the singer remains in jail, but is making arrangements to pay the bond. It’s unclear if Kelly or his attorneys have taken up any of the offers from fans to contribute towards the bond.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, best known for representing Stormy Daniels and for frequently appearing on cable television, is representing two of Kelly’s accusers. He claims that he has a second videotape of Kelly engaging in abusive acts.
“This tape was recently uncovered in connection with our ongoing nationwide investigation on behalf of victims. Justice must be done,” Avenatti said on Twitter Monday.
R. Kelly was still in jail Sunday afternoon after he failed to immediately produce the $100,000 in cash required to make bail. Court documents show he owes $169,000 in back child support. https://t.co/rUh9Dv8Ik5 pic.twitter.com/K7S8CTXBeQ— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 24, 2019
Also on Monday, a woman who accused Kelly of sexual assault in 2008 — one named Lisa VanAllen — wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times in which she shared her experiences. VanAllen had appeared in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary.
“I was one of the first survivors to call him out in the mid 2000s,” VanAllen wrote in The New York Times. “I was a ‘me’ before #MeToo. The world had not yet carved a space for survivors, especially black girls, to be heard — in court or in our communities.”