R. Kelly was allegedly the subject of an attack from a fellow inmate, TMZ reported Thursday, but suffered no serious injuries. Federal law enforcement sources relayed to the outlet that the incident recently occurred inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where the disgraced singer was sitting on his bed when another inmate walked into his cell and began to pummel him. The source said the attacker was angry the detention facility had been placed on lockdown a number of times due to Kelly protesters outside the facility.
The fight didn't last long, but the sources said Kelly was examined by a doctor, who determined there were no broken bones or serious injuries that resulted from the fight. A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau Of Prisons told TMZ it was unable to comment on an individual inmate due to privacy reasons, and Kelly's attorney, Steven Greenberg, declined to discuss the incident, saying Kelly's been a model inmate.
Kelly is facing a total of 18 federal counts, including criminal sexual abuse, child pornography, kidnapping and forced labor, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He has missed a number of recent court hearings, including in January, when he missed a hearing due to undergoing emergency surgery to repair a hernia. He previously missed a court appearance due to what his team claimed was a toe infection.
In December 2019, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accused Kelly of bribing an Illinois government employee in 1994 in order to obtain a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah, whom he married when she was only 15 years old and he was 27 years old. This was used to obtain a marriage license that listed her age fraudulently as 18, according to The New York Times. This was an expansion on Kelly's charges, which accused him of sexually exploiting underage girls and coercing them into illegal sexual activity, much of which was documented in Surviving R. Kelly.
On Good Morning America after the additional accusation surfaced, Kelly's attorney acknowledged that his client had married Aaliyah at 15, but said he had "no idea" she was underage. "My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15, and in order to get married, she had to lie about her age," Greenberg said at the time, adding that the indictment "does not appear to materially alter the landscape."
While crimes from 1994 would normally fall outside the statute of limitations, the broader racketeering charge Kelly faces in accusations he led a criminal organization that recruited his fans, oftentimes underage girls, to have sex with him, allows prosecutors to introduce crimes for any point in that organization's history.