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R. Kelly’s Legal Team Says His Nearly $2 Million Tax Debt Is Reason for Him to Get Out of Prison

R. Kelly‘s legal team is still trying to get the singer released from Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center because of COVID-19. The lawyers’ latest effort comes after a previous request was denied because the judge said he’s a flight risk who could coerce witnesses.

But Kelly’s legal team said all of that is impossible because he owes $1,878,737.43 to the IRS.

R. Kelly’s lawyers argue that Kelly’s nearly $2 million tax debt keeps him from being a flight risk. (Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

Before the judge’s decision came down, prosecutors said because Kelly received $200,000 in royalties this year, he could use that money to flee. But his legal team claimed that amount is before people like agents get their portion. They also argue that Kelly won’t be able to see any of that money since he has such a large tax debt. Days after the bid for release, reports surfaced that the prison where Kelly is being held confirmed that an inmate on Kelly’s floor has been hospitalized for coronavirus.

In court documents, Kelly’s lawyers said their client hasn’t tried to flee as his federal case was being prepared and “never once failed to appear” in court.

In February of last year, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Chicago, then hit with 11 separate felony sexual crime counts in May, including aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim between the ages of 13 to 16.

He was then picked up by federal agents in Chicago while out on bail in July. From that came a 13-count indictment out of the Northern District of Illinois and a five-count indictment from the Eastern District of New York.

Also, in August, Kelly was charged with two criminal offenses in Minnesota after being accused of engaging in prostitution with a minor.

Meanwhile, Azriel Clary, Kelly’s 23-year-old former girlfriend, recently sent a message to Joycelyn Savage, who dated and lived with Kelly at the same time she did.

The two women got into a physical altercation in January of this year. Savage was later arrested on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

“Miss [you],” wrote Clary on April 17 in her Instagram Story, which has since been deleted. “Ur beautiful and strong and one day you will remember your strength too. I know leaving was bad, but I also know you weren’t yourself, because the funny southern belle, Wing Spot lovin’, Memphis reppin’ Joy I know would never.

“I love you,” she added. “A man should never hold you back and one that is happy to do so is not a real man. A man that does not allow you to have a life outside of him is not a man with genuine intentions. Always missing you.”

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