R. Kelly Claims He Was Unaware of Lawsuit That Led to Judge Awarding $10.5 Million to Six Women

The disgraced singer is currently serving a 30-year sentence after being found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.

Image via Getty/Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service

R. Kelly claims he was oblivious to an Aug. 2023 ruling in which six women were awarded $10.5 million over alleged threats that led to a canceled screening of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Kelly argues he would have fought the lawsuit, if he was aware of its existence. The singer claims he had become inundated with legal matters and made changes to his legal representation that this particular suit must have gone unnoticed.

In the event that he did receive the lawsuit, Kelly claims he "cannot read or understand words beyond that of a grade schooler" and relies upon his lawyers to explain what he would be facing.

R. Kelly and Donnell Russell, his manager at the time, were accused of making repeated threats in order to silence the six women who appeared in the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries. Kelly and Russell also threatened to take legal action against the women and producers of the docuseries.

The lawsuit alleges a Dec. 2018 screening in New York City was shut down after someone on Kelly's team threatened to "shoot up" the venue.

Kelly argues in these latest court documents that Russell never served as his manager and believes the blame should fall squarely on Russell's shoulders, if he made the threat that led to the halted screening, because "he did that for his own reasons."

Russell received a one-year sentence stemming from the lawsuit.

R. Kelly was sentenced in 2022 to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. He will then spend another 20 years behind bars for a child sex crimes charge.

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