Dubai’s government has denied R Kelly had plans to perform there and meet its royal family – after the singer asked a judge for permission to travel to the UAE.
Lawyers for the US performer – who faces sex abuse charges – told a court he had signed up for several shows in Dubai and he was due to meet the ruling al Maktoum family.
But in a rare statement, Dubai’s government said: “Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked.”
The statement added that the singer “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance”.
Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg responded by saying Kelly had signed a contract with a “legitimate promoter” and any information in the court request “was from that contract”.
He added: “We did not say he was invited by the royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them.”
Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage girls and one adult woman.
The 52-year-old denies the allegations, which follow the release of a documentary called Surviving R Kelly.
A condition of Kelly’s bail is that he does not travel outside Illinois without the court’s permission.
In a court filing earlier this week, Mr Greenberg said Kelly needed to raise money as “he has struggled of late to pay his child support and other child related expenses”.
“Before he was arrested Mr Kelly had signed a contract to perform between three to five shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019,” the court filing read.
“He requests permission to travel to Dubai for the shows. While there he is supposed to meet with the royal family.”
The filing did not elaborate on where Kelly was allegedly supposed to perform.
There was no immediately publicised event for which Kelly was known to be a performer.