R.Kelly was reportedly placed on suicide watch following his racketeering conviction in New York back in September according to the singer’s lawyer. The Chicago Tribune reported. In a court hearing ahead of his separate trial in Chicago on Wednesday (October 20). R. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, revealed the 54-year-old singer was placed on suicide watch for “some time,” but that has since been lifted. However, putting a recently sentenced prisoner on suicide watch is standard procedure in the federal prison system, and Greenberg did not claim that R. Kelly had stated a wish to commit suicide.
A federal jury in New York found R. Kelly guilty of exploiting his celebrity status to sexually abuse women and children over a two-decade period. He was found guilty of racketeering, sex trafficking, child sexual exploitations , kidnapping , bribery, and violating the Mann Act, which prohibits people trafficking.
R. Kelly had been accused of sexually abusing more than 20 people during the 1990s, according to reports. One woman who accused Kelly of having sexual intercourse with her when she was 14 or 15 said she witnessed the singer performing oral sex on Aaliyah when she was a teenager back in September.
Following the guilty conviction, he expressed his disappointment and declared his innocence in a Facebook message to his followers.
“To all my fans and supporters I love you all and thank you for all the support,” he wrote in the statement. “Today’s verdict was disappointing and I will continue to prove my innocence and fight for my freedom. #notguilty.” Kelly is still facing charges of child pornography and obstruction in Chicago.
The jury trial is slated to start Aug. 1, 2022 and is expected to last three to four weeks. R. Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2022 and is facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years all the way up to life in prison.