R. Kelly walked out of Cook County Jail on Saturday for the second time in two weeks — this time after coming up with more than $160,000 in overdue child support.
The so-called King of R&B had been taken into custody three days earlier on the orders of a family court judge who last month had given Kelly until Wednesday to pay up or be locked up.
Wearing a bright red jacket, bluejeans and the cuff of his blue dress shirt peeking out from a gray hooded sweatshirt, Kelly briskly walked out of the jail shortly before noon Saturday after three nights in custody.
"Thanks for the order, guys,’’ Kelly said as he stood behind several microphones set up by reporters and cameramen who earlier had been ordered to move onto a sidewalk away from the jail gates.
Grasping a white Manila folder with his right hand, he gesticulated with his left hand, saying, “I promise you we’re gonna straighten all this stuff out. … That’s all I can say right now.’’
“I love my fans. I love y’all … appreciate it,’’ he said as the side door of a black van slid open and he entered. An adoring female fan told him she loved him and pleaded with Kelly to touch her hand.
Cara Smith, chief policy officer at the sheriff’s office, said a check for the full amount of Kelly’s back child support had been handed over to the Circuit Court clerk’s office.
A copy of the bond slip did not show who posted the $161,663 owed by Kelly or the individual’s relationship to him. Smith said the individual wished to remain anonymous.
Less than two weeks earlier, Kelly, 52, spent another three days in the jail complex on Chicago’s Southwest Side after bombshell indictments on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Cook County prosecutors allege he abused four victims, three of them underage girls, over a span of 12 years.
Kelly and his attorney have vehemently denied the charges.
Bond was set at $1 million on those charges, but Kelly was unable to post the necessary $100,000 until after he spent a weekend in the jail. Court records indicate a 47-year-old Romeoville woman posted his bail, identifying herself on the bond slip as Kelly's "friend."
Little is known about Kelly’s child-support problems because the entire case — originally a divorce filing — was ordered sealed by a judge years ago.
Reporters and spectators on Wednesday were kept outside Judge Lori Rosen’s domestic relations courtroom in the Daley Center, forced to wait in the hallway while the hearing proceeded.
After Kelly was jailed, Smith revealed that Kelly had been found in contempt for failing to pay the child support and ordered into custody.
Accusations of predatory sexual behavior have dogged the singer for years. Cook County prosecutors charged him in 2002 with child pornography, saying he made a sex tape with a girl as young as 13, but six years later a jury acquitted him in a sensational trial.
In the latest charges, prosecutors allege Kelly tried to force oral sex on his 24-year-old hairdresser in 2003 — while he was free on bond on the then-pending child pornography charges.
Prosecutors also alleged that Kelly solicited an underage girl outside his 2008 criminal trial and later sexually abused her; that he carried on a yearlong sexual relationship with a girl he had met in 1998 when she was celebrating her 16th birthday; and that he videotaped himself having sex with a young girl at his home in Olympia Fields in the late 1990s.