While R. Kelly remains in a Chicago jail, seemingly “fighting for his life,” as he once told broadcast journalist Gayle King, one of his associates has decided to end his battle. Richard Arline Jr. recently pleaded guilty to bribing a witness, Page Six reported.
The 31-year-old admitted to his crime during a virtual hearing in a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday, Feb. 2. “Me and another person offered Jane Doe money for her to not go forward with her complaint or testimony against Robert Kelly,” Arline Jr. told Judge Peggy Kuo during his allocution. “I knew what I did was wrong.”
The media outlet reported that after Kelly was indicted in Brooklyn on racketeering and sex trafficking charges in 2020, an unnamed co-conspirator texted the accuser: “Rob is trying to get his cousin rich in contact with you because he wants to pay you for silence.”
Prosecutors said that Arline Jr. and the witness spoke several times over the phone about Kelly’s potential payout in exchange for her silence. During a May 26, 2020, phone call, he offered the unidentified accuser $500,000 and said that Kelly had authorized the payment. Jane Doe declined the offer, saying, “I wouldn’t go for half a million,” according to phone transcripts. Unbeknownst to Arline Jr., federal agents were listening in on the call. He now faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced.
Donnell Russell and Michael Wilson were also charged with trying to harass, intimidate, and or threaten other accusers in Kelly’s Brooklyn case.
Meanwhile, the “I Wish” crooner is currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to several state and federal charges for sex-trafficking, racketeering, coercion, and other charges related to the abuse and exploitation of six women over 25 years.
According to court documents, the R&B singer forced the victims to call him daddy and did not allow them to eat or leave their rooms without his permission.
Kelly also faces a separate indictment in Chicago on child pornography charges. He will go to trial following his Brooklyn federal case, which was repeatedly held back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled to start on April 7.