R. Kelly was taken back into custody Wednesday after appearing at a child-support hearing, authorities said, hours after the broadcast of an interview in which the R&B star cried and ranted about being “assassinated” by allegations of sexual abuse.
Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said she did not know why Kelly was taken into custody, including whether it had to do with unpaid child support. He was to be transferred to a jail.
Kelly left the courtroom with his lawyers through a different door than he had entered. His hands were not cuffed.
The 52-year-old singer is accused in Chicago of sexually abusing four females dating back to 1998, including three underage girls.
Kelly, who is out on bail following his Feb. 22 arrest in Chicago, said earlier in the interview that he had done “lots of things wrong” in relationships with women, but said he has apologized. He denied doing anything against their will. The songwriter said he believes social media is to blame for fueling the allegations.
“I have been buried alive, but I’m alive,” he said, later adding that he needed someone to help him “not have a big heart.”
When pressed about whether he was attracted to younger women, Kelly said: “I’m an older man who loves all women.” He acknowledged being in a relationship with two young women who live with him.
The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct and was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Those charges centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13.
He and the girl allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them. She did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.
As part of the current case, prosecutors have described a witness who had access to videotapes showing Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The witness turned the tape over to authorities and identified the girl, who repeatedly states her age on the footage, according to court documents.
A condition of Kelly’s bail forbids him from having any contact with females younger than 18. He has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.