R. Kelly's team was allegedly going out of its way to silence victims. On Friday, Kelly's manager was charged with making threatening phone calls to a Manhattan theater that was screening the Surviving R. Kelly.
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York claims that 45-year-old Donnell Russell made a call on Dec. 4, 2018 threatening a shooting at NeueHouse which was hosting a screening of the documentary. This caused a halt to the screening as several of Kelly's accusers would have been in attendance.
"Threats of gun violence aimed at intimidating and silencing victims of sexual abuse are unlawful as well as unacceptable," U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. "We are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting such crimes."
Russell's attorney claims his client tried legal means before threatening violence. He reportedly sent the theater a cease and desist order and other methods that were ignored. This moved Russell to tell an employee that an armed gunman would be present to open fire if the screening goes forward.
Russell has been charged with two counts of threatening physical harm by interstate communication and conspiracy to do the same. He could face up to five years in prison for each charge and he made his first court appearance on Friday afternoon.
This comes after Complex reported that Russell was one of three people being charged with harassing victims on separate occasions. Along with Russell, Richard Arline Jr. and Michael Williams have been charged with various crimes including setting an SUV on fire.