R Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused four people – including three underage girls – following allegations dating back to 1998.

The R&B star, who was arrested on Friday and is facing 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, has now been freed on bail, allowing him to leave prison while awaiting trial.

The Ignition (Remix) singer, 52, appeared in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit after spending the weekend in a Chicago prison, which holds 7,000 inmates.

Bail for Kelly – whose full name is Robert Kelly – was set at $1m (£762,000) on Saturday and the Grammy Award winner was required to pay 10% of that – $100,000 (£76,000) – to be released.

R Kelly

Moment R Kelly hands himself into police

Conditions for his release include no contact with females below the age of 18.

While arguing for a bail amount within the singer’s ability to pay, his lawyer Steve Greenberg said the World’s Greatest singer was not wealthy despite decades of success making hit songs.

The lawyer cited mismanagement and bad contracts among other issues for his financial troubles.

Singer R. Kelly accepts the Stevie Wonder Award with Stevie Wonder (L) presenting onstage at the 20th Annual Soul Train Music Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 4, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Kelly’s lawyer said the singer was not wealthy despite decades of success making hit songs

Mr Greenberg insisted the I Believe I Can Fly singer was not a flight risk, adding: “Contrary to the song, Mr Kelly doesn’t like to fly.”

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer representing two alleged victims, said his team had given prosecutors a second video, which he alleges shows Kelly sexually assaulting a minor.

R Kelly's mug shot, taken by Chicago Police Department after his arrest
R Kelly’s mug shot, taken by Chicago Police Department after his arrest

He said he had already given prosecutors a video allegedly showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

Details of the allegations against the performer emerged on Saturday when the prosecution released four detailed documents, one for each alleged victim, outlining the basis for the charges.

A girl who attended Kelly’s child pornography trial in 2008 – in which he was later acquitted – got his autograph after a hearing and was later invited to his Chicago home when she was 16, where they allegedly had sex multiple times, according to the documents.

‘What do you want to say to your fans?’

Another girl claims she met Kelly at a restaurant where she was having her 16th birthday party. The two allegedly had sex periodically for a year.

A third alleged victim claims she thought she was going to braid the singer’s hair but alleges that he pulled down his pants and tried to force her to give him oral sex. The woman, who was 24, claims she was able to pull away but that Kelly ejaculated on her and spat in her face.

After Saturday’s bail hearing, Mr Greenberg told reporters Kelly did not force anyone to have sex, adding: “He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have non-consensual sex.”

The musician, who has written hits for numerous others including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga, was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 and has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.

Cook County associate judge, Lawrence Flood, will preside over the trial. The singer’s next court date is 22 March.


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