As part of the conditions for his release from Cook County Jail in Illinois last week, R. Kelly agreed to pay more than $160,000 in back child payments to his ex-wife. The singer allegedly still hasn't come up with the necessary cash, according to The Chicago Sun-Times, which means he could be headed back behind bars.
The judge, Lori Rosen, overseeing Kelly's case ordered him to appear at a child support hearing today at 2 p.m. and to pay the $161,663 that he owes his ex-wife Drea Kelly by 10 a.m. According to TMZ, Kelly actually owes a total of nearly $200,000 and he has known about the child support payment deadline since last month. Owing anything over $20,000 is a felony in Illinois, which means he could face criminal charges from the state's district attorney. As of 5 p.m. last night, Kelly had not made the necessary payment, according to his ex-wife's manager David France.
One attorney who is not involved in the case named Alyssa Mogul says that because Kelly owes such a large amount of money, and because he didn't provide adequate reason for failing to pay for such a long time, he may be a candidate for returning to jail.
"It appears he's had his due process. It's time with him to comply with the order. … Judges don't like it when people don't follow their orders," she said.
Kelly's finances are not in good shape, according to Kelly's defense lawyer Steve Greenberg. He says that the singer's income dropped after he was dropped by his record label after the backlash over the allegations that he sexually abused women. The Chicago Sun-Times says that Kelly stopped making payments well before the documentary Surviving R. Kelly aired, launching his reported behavior back into the spotlight. He stopped making his required $20,000 payments last spring and never spoke with a judge about the need to reduce his payments because of a reduction in his income.
"Mr. Kelly has more than 20 people on his staff who, needless to say, are being paid," said France. "He is not without means. Not until he was arrested did he say he didn't have any money."