Despite R&B star R Kelly having been arrested last Thursday in Chicago on a 13-count federal indictment that includes sex trafficking and racketeering, the alleged victims Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary are expected to present a united front during the musician’s hearing slated for Tuesday, as well as speak at a news conference afterwards.
Amid all the allegations, with federal prosecutors striving for 51-year-old Kelly to be kept in custody until he goes to trial, Savage and Clary appear to continue to publicly voice their support for the musician, just as they did when they appeared in court for the first time in February. At the time, they sat in the first row, meant for the defendant’s family and friends during the hearing for his arrest over sexual misconduct accusations in Cook County, Illinois.
On Sunday, the duo released video knocking fake news on the R Kelly indictment and, in particular, busting reports that they had been evicted from Kelly’s condominium, where they had been residing permanently, following his arrest. To prove the point they turned the camera to show the view over Chicago’s skyline from the window. They also thanked the musician’s fans for the words of support they together received in the run-up to the hearing.
Kelly currently remains in federal custody in Chicago, having faced an indictment including sex crimes and obstruction of justice. Besides Chicago, a federal indictment also came from New York charging him with racketeering and sex-related crimes.
At a press conference on Monday, attorney Michael Avenatti, who formerly represented the porn film star Stormy Daniels in her claim to have had an affair with Donald Trump after his marriage to Melania, said at least one of the three whistle-blowers he now represents made copies of the tapes that were handed over to Cook County state’s attorney, Kim Foxx.
Avenatti, currently charged in a money extortion case involving Nike, also claimed Kelly had paid $2 million to a 14-year-old girl he had allegedly bedded and her family to buy their silence and move them out of the Chicago area.
Kelly was charged under a human trafficking statute. Prosecutors allege five other women and girls were flown around the country to provide the singer with sexual favours and made to obey rules including referring to Kelly as "daddy”. They were also allegedly forced to wear baggy clothes when not with the rapper, and ordered not to look at other men. Some of even them allegedly received a venereal disease from Kelly, while others were presumed to have been drugged and beaten. One woman said she felt forced to have sex "after noticing a gun in the room...that Kelly had placed nearby”.
In the two indictments, there are a total of 10 alleged victims, which means that in the event of conviction, the musician could spend decades behind bars.