R. Kelly failed to show up to a Cook County Circuit Court to respond to allegations concerning the sexual abuse of an underage girl in the late 1990s and could be ordered to pay damages to his accuser as soon as next month.
Kelly was served the court summons last month while being held in Cook County jail for failure to pay back child support. He never responded to the suit, so the woman’s attorneys requested a judgment against Kelly on Tuesday, April 23. The ruling could be reversed if Kelly responds to the lawsuit.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Kelly allegedly began pursuing the woman, now 36, with the help of his manager at her 16th birthday party:
“Cook County prosecutors have alleged that Kelly’s manager approached the girl as she celebrated her 16th birthday at a restaurant, gave her Kelly’s card and told her to contact him. Her mother intercepted the card, but H.W. later found it in the mom’s purse and began to have sexual encounters with the singer about once a month, prosecutors said.”
She is expected to testify about her experiences with Kelly in judge’s chambers next month, after which Kelly could be ordered to pay damages. The accuser in this civil suit is also one of the alleged victims involved in pending criminal charges against Kelly:
“Kelly’s accuser in the suit is one of the alleged victims at the center of pending criminal charges against the singer, her attorney confirmed to the Tribune earlier this year. The woman is identified in criminal court documents as H.W.
Kelly faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four separate alleged victims, three of whom were underage at the time.”
The woman claims that as a teenager she was “star struck” by Kelly and it wasn’t until years later in therapy that she realized that the “great shame, guilt, self-blame, confusion, depression” she’d experienced in subsequent years were all results of the alleged abuse, according to her lawsuit.