R Kelly did not respond to a lawsuit brought by one of his sexual abuse accusers because he can’t read, his lawyers say.
The judge Judge Moira Johnson had issued a default judgement against the singer on 23 April after he failed to respond to the lawsuit.
But after his lawyers told the court he had not responded because he could not read the documents, the judge decided on Wednesday to allow the lawsuit to go ahead.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Kelly was served in March while being held in Cook County Jail over his unrelated failure to pay more than $160,000 (£123,000) in child support.
But Kelly’s lawyers Raed Shalabi and Zaid Abdallah said on 26 April: “The defendant does not recall being served.
“The defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read – in essence he cannot.”
Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse relating to three underage girls and one woman.
The 52-year-old denies the allegations, which follow the release of a documentary called Surviving R Kelly.
The case being dealt with currently is by a woman identified as HW, who says she began a sexual relationship with Kelly in 1998, when she was 16.
He denies any wrongdoing.