$500K+ of R. Kelly Royalties Going to His Sex-Abuse Victims


Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A New York judge has ruled that Universal Music Group must turn over more than half a million dollars in R. Kelly’s music royalties to his sexual-abuse victims, NBC News reports. The Wednesday court order states that UMG must pay the $507,234.05 bill that R. Kelly owes. The singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence after he was found guilty in 2021 of all counts in his high-profile sex trafficking and racketeering case. The money owed in this case will be sent to Brooklyn prosecutors to help cover restitution for his victims. The prosecutor’s office said UMG has at least $567,444.19 in R. Kelly’s royalties. Since that would cover the debt, prosecutors will withdraw a request to pull from Sony Music Entertainment’s accounts. Does that mean that the more than $1.5 million in Kelly’s royalties that Sony had in 2020 won’t be touched? Not necessarily. Per Billboard, a Kelly victim who won a $4 million civil judgment and a former landlord of Kelly’s who is owed $3.5 million are both hoping to tap into Sony’s royalties fund for their payouts. Plus, Chicago prosecutors who won a separate child pornography conviction against Kelly could also seek to collect money from UMG or Sony. Kelly reportedly still owes more than $42,000 in that case. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, maintained her client’s innocence in a statement to Billboard, claiming that his convictions will be reversed and that his legal team will “seek the return of every cent that has been wrongfully taken from him.”

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