After spending the weekend in a Chicago jail, R. Kelly posted bail Monday, thanks to a local woman who says she is his friend. Now, she’s explaining why she paid the singer’s $100,000 bail and defending him as a “gentleman” toward her.
Valencia P. Love spoke to Fox23 reporter Tia A. Ewing Tuesday, Feb. 26. Court records show Love, a local restaurant and day care owner, is a 47-year-old resident of the Chicago suburb of Romeoville. She paid the required 10 percent of the $1 million bond against Kelly, who has been arrested in Cook County and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse Friday. The charges involve four females, including three minors, according to The Associated Press.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf ahead of his release Monday. As part of his release, Kelly must not have contact with any girls under the age of 18. He is due back in court on March 22.
“I’m not going to say it was my money or [Kelly’s], and he’s not broke,” Love told Ewing during their 14-minute phone call, according to the transcripts the reporter tweeted. “He’s my friend, and I knew he needed help. There are three sides to every story, his side his side, theirs [the alleged victims], and the truth.
“I can’t say they’re lying [the accusers]. It wasn’t my money, I’m not going to say whose money it is,” she continued. “I don’t condone any man sodomizing anyone or abusing a woman. He [Kelly] told me he was innocent, if he did it he is wrong. … He’s telling me he’s innocent. I wasn’t there, you [Ewing] wasn’t there, give him the chance and allow him to prove his innocence. He’s not a monster. He’s not. Look at all these priest, why isn’t anyone going after them. They’re having a summit over that right now.”
Love then questioned why the focus hasn’t been on pregnant Chicago postal worker Kierra Coles, who remains missing since her disappearance in October 2018. Noting the heavy media coverage that missing Wisconsin girl Jayme Closs received after she was kidnapped in the same month, Love asked, “why isn’t anyone looking for Kierra?” before continuing to defend Kelly.
“He’s only been a gentleman to me. The prosecutors and attorney general need to be prosecuting the priest that were sleeping with 5 and 6-year-old children,” Love said, remarking on the controversy in the Roman Catholic Church. “Let him [Kelly] have his chance in court to prove if he’s innocent or guilty. As a friend, if he says he’s innocent, I can only believe that he is innocent.
“I’m not in support of any pedophile, I don’t support that at all. He was going to get out regardless, I just went out there to help my friend,” she concluded. “No one is giving the stories that really need attention, the coverage they deserve.”
However, a close friend of Kelly’s told the Chicago-Sun Times Tuesday that Love is actually a fan who met Kelly during a cruise five months earlier. Don Russell, who is also an adviser to the star, said Kelly and Love met on a Spirit of Chicago cruise on Lake Michigan in September. Love reached out over the weekend when she learned Kelly could not make bail.
“She wanted Rob to have a chance at justice, and she thought he’d have a better chance outside of jail than inside,” Russell said, noting she was with Kelly and his group Friday and toasted to their friendship.
However, Love reportedly called the newspaper and disputed parts of Russell’s account, only confirming she did pay Kelly’s bond.
Meanwhile, Love’s restaurant, Love on the Blu, has been littered with poor Yelp reviews after the public learned she’s the one who forked up the cash for the singer.
“It really will be our own. The fact that this BLACK WOMAN could bail out a rapist and an abuser is despicable. You own a children’s daycare. You should be ashamed of yourself,” one woman said in part.
“Nasty food and the owner supports a pedophile. Extremely dirty inside with mediocre service,” a patron said.
“Eat here if you want to support people who support molesters 🙂 the owner is trash, and I bet her food is too,” wrote someone else who did not visit the restaurant.
The wave of criticism has led the page to have an “unusual activity” notice posted on the page, which is currently being monitored by Yelp’s support team.
“While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to this news event, we work to verify that the content you see here reflects personal consumer experiences with the business rather than the news itself,” Yelp’s notice read, encouraging consumers to post about the news on Yelp Talk instead. “As a result, we’ve temporarily disabled the posting of content to this page.”
For her part, Love responded to one commenter, writing, “I just help out a Friend if he guilty let him pay for it thru the courts. I am sure some of them have bailed out murderers, drug dealers, etc.”