An overseas trip by R. Kelly is in limbo after his attorney asked for more time to provide details about concerts the singer wants to perform next month in Dubai.
A Chicago hearing only briefly touched on a defense motion this week asking the judge in Kelly’s sexual-assault case for permission for him to travel to the United Arab Emirates earn money from up to five concerts.
Attorney Steve Greenberg told reporters outside court that he wanted to gather more information on the concerts to give Judge Lawrence Flood “a certain comfort level” about what the travel and concerts would entail.
Kelly’s entertainment attorney, Doug Anton, said any Dubai trip was off for now as contracts with Dubai concert organizers are reworked. He said celebrity singers often go to Dubai for appearances, then arrange concerts.
‘The court requires more formalities,’ he said, speaking at the courthouse.
His attorneys said that Kelly is also scrambling to pay legal fees and child support because of the cancellation of Illinois concerts and a record contract.
He arrived at a Chicago courthouse Friday morning for a hearing in the case and was flanked by a large entourage including his legal team and bodyguards.
Kelly’s attorneys claimed that the 52-year-old singer hopes to perform five April concerts in Dubai and meet members of royal families in the United Arab Emirates
After the hearing, Steve Greenberg said he wants to provide Judge Lawrence Flood more information before he decides on the matter.
‘I think there are more details that needed to be filled in, I think, to give the judge a certain comfort level. We’ll get that information to him hopefully by April 15.’
Kelly’s publicist spoke after the hearing and refused to answer questions when he was asked whether the families of Azriel Clary and Jocelyn Savage would be allowed to see their daughters.
Amid the allegations, the ‘Ignition’ singer was reportedly in a relationship with Savage, 23, and Clary, 21.
Despite both women’s families believing their daughters to be ‘brainwashed’, Savage and Clary have maintained that they were only ever in a consensual relationship with Kelly.
He was charged on February 22 with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage girls and one adult woman. He has denied ever abusing anyone.
The United Arab Emirates does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. but the Persian Gulf nation would not jeopardize its good bilateral relationship by harboring a fugitive Kelly, according to a court filing.
While the day lawyers deliver opening statements to jurors inside a Cook County courtroom is still many months or even years away, court filings and comments by his lead attorney after the R&B star was charged provide clues about an emerging legal strategy.
Kelly and his attorney intend to question the veracity of his accusers and argue that, if he had sex with them, it was consensual and he thought they were of age.
His attorney has also signaled he may push to have some counts tossed on grounds statutes of limitation ran out or because some are too closely related to crimes for which Kelly was acquitted at his 2008 child pornography trial.
If convicted on all ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse of three underage girls and one adult, the Grammy winner faces an effective life sentence of up to 70 years in prison.