R. Kelly was sent back to jail Wednesday over $161,663 in unpaid child support.
Kelly, who was jailed for several days after initially being unable to post $100,000 bond for criminal sexual abuse charges, had been warned by a judge that the R&B singer would be sent back to jail if he did not fully pay what he owes his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, by 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to court records.
After a court hearing in Chicago on Wednesday, Kelly was taken into custody and was slated to be transferred to the county jail, where he was ordered held until he comes up with the full $161,663, Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sophia Ansari told BuzzFeed News.
The hearing on Wednesday was closed, and many of the documents related to Kelly’s 2009 divorce case have remained sealed. However, documents detailing his unpaid child support were included in a docket for his criminal court case last month.
Kelly’s publicist, Darrell Johnson, told reporters that the singer came to the hearing with the expectation that he was "going to make an arrangement" to pay $50,000 to $60,000, but the judge rejected that proposal and "wanted the full amount."
"He can't pay," Johnson said. "He can't book shows. He can't do anything. There's a lot going on in Mr. Kelly's life...and he doesn't have the money."
Kelly’s reps have said he is unable to pay the whole amount because he doesn't have it, citing his ongoing legal woes, boycotts of his music, and his inability to work.
"He didn't come here to go to jail," his publicist said. "He came here in this period expecting to walk out. He came here expecting to make some arrangements with what he had."
Johnson hopes he can get the singer out of jail by next Wednesday, describing his client as "depressed, deflated, and upset."
Last month, the 52-year-old was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were underage during the alleged acts. He is accused of forcing oral penetration with two underage victims, one from 1998 until 2001, and another from 2009 to 2010. He is also charged with forced sexual penetration with another underage victim from 1998 until 1999, and with threatening and forcing himself on another victim by ejaculating on her in 2003.
Kelly has continued to vehemently deny the allegations and argue that he is the victim of lies and a campaign to smear him.
“Stop it, y’all quit playin’. Quit playin’. I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me,” he said, directly addressing the camera. “I’m fighting for my fucking life.”
In response to reporters' questions about Kelly's outburst during the interview, Johnson, his publicist, said that the artist "felt real good about it."
Kelly is due back in court for the child support case March 13.