R. Kelly’s legal team claims he lost civil case due to learning disability
The singer’s attorneys explain why he didn’t show up in court to defend himself.
Last week, R. Kelly failed to appear in court to answer to allegations he sexually abused an underage girl in the late 1990s.
As a result, a judge issued a default ruling in the favor of the alleged victim. Now, the R&B singer’s legal team has responded to the matter, claiming that his learning disability is to blame for his failure to appear to the court-ordered proceedings.
On Monday (April 29), the singer’s attorneys, Zaid Abdallah and Raed Shalabi, claim that the 52-year-old “suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read.” Due to his learning disability, paired with the fact that he was in Chicago’s Cook County jail for a separate incident at the time he was served the papers, his legal team claims that the singer was unable to read the papers at the time and therefore had no idea what was going on.
Per TMZ, his legal team claims that the papers should have been delivered to his residence or to his counsel so that he could adequately understand and respond accordingly. The attorney for the victim, known in court documents as H.W., said they were not able to serve Kelly at his home due to intense security at the Trump Towers, where the singer currently resides.
As such, Kelly’s legal team is asking a judge to vacate the decision and reopen the case so that they can prepare a proper defense.
In related news, the explosive dock-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired earlier this year on Lifetime, is now getting an anticipated follow-up. The two-hour special is set to premiere on May 4th.
The special, which is set to be hosted by Soledad O’Brien, will center on the reactions to the first documentary, which aired on television shortly before Kelly was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
According to a press release, the special intends to “elevate the conversation on sexual violence and what it means to be a survivor.”
R. Kelly is expected back in court for his criminal case on May 7.