The disgraced R&B singer, who is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in September of sex trafficking and federal racketeering, has reportedly hit it off with James at Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park. James is currently awaiting trial in the April mass shooting on the subway, which has him facing charges of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation system and discharging a firearm during a violent crime, after injuring 10 people. He pleaded not guilty to his charges this week.
Sources within the jail told the Daily News that the pair “sit[s] together and eat[s] together” and get along well, with one calling the pair “buds,” since they spend time together to talk and go “out to rec.”
“Mr. Kelly is not in control of who he is housed with,” Jennifer Bonjean, Kelly’s lawyer, told the publication. “A friend is someone you voluntarily hang out with.”
The publication also reports that Kelly puts on impromptu performances at the jail, including a recent acapella performance of “I Believe I Can Fly” for a few fellow inmates. In recent months, Kelly has criticized his ex-legal team for what he’s called. alack of action in the jury selection process during his sex crimes case. As he explains in an affidavit, there “may” have been jurors who watched the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries as he awaited his verdict.
“At certain points during jury selection, I did hear that some jurors may have seen the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries and that concerned me greatly,” Kelly wrote. “I raised my concerns with my attorneys but they shooed me off. I was nothing more than a bystander in the process. … There was no strategy involved in choosing the jurors that sat on my jury as far as I could tell. At least there was no trial strategy that involved my input.”
Kelly faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, and was found guilty of nine federal racketeering and sex trafficking counts after 50 witnesses testified during his Brooklyn trial last year.