R. Kelly’s UMG Royalties Must Go To Sex Abuse Victims,


More than $500,000 in R. Kelly’s royalties held by Universal Music Group must be handed over to Brooklyn federal prosecutors to help pay his victims, a judge ruled Wednesday.



See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

Two years after a jury convicted the singer of sex trafficking and racketeering – and a year after she sentenced him to 30 years in prison — Judge Ann Donnelly signed a so-called writ of garnishment directing UMG to hand over $520,549 in his publishing royalties to pay restitution and criminal fines.

Prosecutors had moved to seize royalties held both by UMG and by Sony Music Entertainment, Kelly’s former label. But because UMG’s account held enough to cover the entire penalty (UMG disclosed to the judge it was holding $567,444) prosecutors said Wednesday they would drop their request to tap Sony’s account.

That doesn’t mean Sony will be keeping Kelly’s funds, though. The label, which held more than $1.5 million in Kelly royalties as of 2020, is facing other demands to access that money – to an abuse victim who won a $4 million civil judgment, as well as a Chicago landlord that’s owed $3.5 million.

Federal prosecutors in Chicago, who won a separate conviction against Kelly on child pornography charges, could also seek to collect money, either from Sony or from the remaining funds in UMG’s account. Kelly owes more than $42,000 in fines and restitution in that case.

A spokesman for UMG declined to comment. A spokesman for Sony did not return a request for comment. In a statement to Billboard, Jennifer Bonjean – Kelly’s attorney, who is currently appealing his convictions – vowed that the royalty money would eventually be returned to her client.

“We maintain that Mr. Kelly’s convictions and the restitution orders were erroneous and the Second Circuit will have the final word on it,” Bonjean said, referring to the U.S. Court of Appeal. “I can promise that when the Second Circuit reverses Mr. Kelly’s convictions, we will seek the return of every cent that has been wrongfully taken from him.”

After decades of accusations of sexual misconduct, Kelly was convicted in New York in 2021 on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges stemming from accusations that he orchestrated a long-running scheme to recruit and abuse women and underage girls. Last summer, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In September 2022, he was convicted in Chicago on separate of federal charges of child pornography and enticement of minors for sex. Kelly was sentenced to 20 years on those convictions in February, but he will serve nearly all of the time simultaneously with the earlier 30-year sentence.

Source link

Comments are closed.