Controversial R&B star R. Kelly has been arrested in Chicago on federal sex crime charges according to NBC News. Law enforcement officials confirmed the news on Thursday, with Kelly being expected to be transferred to New York.
NBC News adds that more details are set to be announced on Friday morning, but the Department of Homeland Security investigators and NYPD detectives worked together to take Kelly into custody.
Both bodies declined to comment on the arrest according to NBC, with representatives for Kelly unavailable for contact.
Kelly was initially charged in Illinois in February with aggravated assault according to NBC News, with the alleged abuse involving up to four women, with three being minors when it occurred. The singer pleaded not guilty at the time before facing 11 more counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse in May.
The "I Believe I Can Fly" singer has faced sexual abuse allegations for two decades at this point, with some claims popping up in 1998. Kelly has denied any allegations made against him, with the latest denial coming during a heated CBS News interview with Gayle King.
"Stop it. You all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn't do this stuff! This is not me! I'm fighting for my f—ing life! Y'all killing me with this s—! I gave you 30 years of my f—ing career," Kelly said in tears during the interview.
"Thirty years of my career! And y'all trying to kill me? You killing me, man! This is not about music!" the singer continued while King looked on. "I'm trying to have a relationship with my kids! And I can't do it! Y'all just don't want to believe the truth! You don't want to believe it!"
Much of the current spotlight on Kelly comes in the aftermath of the six-part documentary series Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime. The series premiered in January and highlighted several women's claims against the singer, alleging they had been abused "sexually, physically and mentally" according to NBC News.
Kelly had previously been acquited of child pornography charges in 2008. Video prosecutors showed allegedly featured Kelly performing sexual acts on a 13-year-old girl. The woman then denied it was her in the video and refused to testify, leading to the acquittal.
The singer is also facing serious financial strain the wake of his legal woes. His music has been removed from Spotify and other streaming services, while he is unable to perform or produce new music due to the ongoing investigations. Reports indicated that Kelly's bank account was at negative $13 with debt growing with the hours.
"If you can't play a show, if you can't go out on tour, if they're not streaming your music anymore, obviously you're going to have financial problems," Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg said. "You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out."0comments