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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

R. Kelly and Universal Music Group to pay R9.7 million in royalties to his victims, judge orders

More than half a million of R. Kelly’s music royalties held by the Universal Music Group will be given to his sex abuse victims, a New York judge has ordered.

On Wednesday, US District Judge Ann Donnelly ruled that the disgraced R’n’B star will have to give up $520,549 (about R9.7 million) from his music publisher to cover the cost of unpaid restitution and fines.

UMG has 10 days to hand over the cash.

Sony’s royalties of more than $1.5-million are being sought by a Chicago child pornography victim, who was awarded $4-million, as Kelly still owes them $42,000 in fines and restitution.

However, Sony Music won’t have to hand over any more money this time, as the Universal royalties are enough to foot the rest of the fines.

The judge had previously ordered the ‘Ignition’ hitmaker to pay $28,000 to cover his unpaid fines.

Kelly is serving 30 years in prison for his 2021 racketeering and sex trafficking convictions in New York.

He was found guilty of all nine counts against him, including racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transport of “any woman or girl” across state lines for any “immoral purpose”.

The singer denied all the charges he faced.

He had faced years of allegations and the judge said he showed an “indifference to human suffering” after the court heard how Kelly forced his victims into “obedience” and “horrors”.

The singer did not appear to react as his sentence was passed, but his lawyer insisted he wanted to speak at his sentencing.

Jennifer Bonjean added she advised him against it while he had open cases in Chicago and Minnesota.

During the Chicago pornography trial, the jury viewed segments of videos of Kelly sexually abusing an underage girl, who was the singer’s goddaughter.

The girl, who went by ‘Jane’ during the trial, said Kelly began sexually abusing her when she was only 14, and when she turned 15, she told the jury that they began having sexual intercourse “innumerable times”, adding the instances were “uncountable”.

Jane said in a statement: “I will never get back what I lost to Robert Kelly … I have been permanently scarred by Robert.

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“When your virginity is taken by a paedophile at 14… your life is never your own.”

Another accuser, who used the pseudonym ‘Nia’ during the trial addressed Kelly directly and said: “Now you are here… because there is something wrong with you.

“No longer will you be able to harm children.”

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