Days after his release from Cook County Jail, embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly walked through a throng of reporters at the Daley Center on Wednesday to attend a closed-door hearing in a court fight with his ex-wife over child support.

The singer, dressed in a dark blue suit and large sunglasses, waved off questions from reporters when he emerged an hour later from Judge Lori Rosen’s courtroom.

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Kelly, who faces separate criminal charges that he sexually abused three underage girls and a fourth woman, was released from jail Saturday after an anonymous donor paid more than $161,000 in overdue child support.

Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, said the singer’s divorce case was originally sealed as part of an agreement and remains closed to the public now that it has landed back in court because of the dispute over child support.

After emerging from the hearing, Greenberg declined to answer questions about the proceedings, saying Rosen had barred anyone involved in the case from discussing it publicly.

The singer’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, did not appear to attend Wednesday’s court session.

R. Kelly’s publicist, Darryll Johnson, told reporters waiting outside the courtroom that Kelly was seeking to have his child support payments reduced.

“He can’t work,” Johnson said. “All these accusations and lies, he can’t work.”

What little is known about the court fight over child support comes from paperwork that was recently added to the public file in his criminal case.

Those filings show that in 2009 he was ordered to pay his ex-wife more than $20,000 a month in child support. The couple had three children before splitting up.

R. Kelly timeline: Chicago upbringing, rapid rise to stardom and years of sexual abuse charges, suits and rumors

Timeline of R. Kelly's life, rise to stardom and controversies and legal saga surrounding sexual abuse

Last week, Rosen ordered Kelly taken into custody after he failed to meet a deadline to pay the $161,663 in overdue child support payments. He spent three nights in Cook County Jail before someone anonymously posted the money.

Prosecutors allege the abuse of the four victims took place over a span of a dozen years.

Kelly and his attorney have vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

The charges came as Kelly faces fresh scrutiny for long-standing accusations of sexually predatory behavior toward women and teenage girls. A Lifetime documentary series that aired in January featured multiple women saying he victimized them. In addition, reporting in BuzzFeed and the New Yorker by Chicago journalist Jim DeRogatis has highlighted accusations of abuse.

mcrepeau@chicagotribune.com

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Twitter @crepeau

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