R. Kelly‘s record labels have received notices from the government — and they’re about to be out a whole lot of money.
Court documents obtained by HipHopDX have revealed that prosecutors in Brooklyn, NY, have filed a writ of continuing garnishment on Thursday (June 1), which is what’s filed by creditors (in this case, the government, acting on behalf of R. Kelly’s victims) against debtors (R. Kelly’s record labels) to collect money owed in a judgment.
“The outstanding balance on the aforesaid judgment is $504,289.73, including interest, as of June 1, 2023. Interest is continuing to accrue,” read the documents filed against Sony Music Entertainment.
The courts filed the writ of continuing garnishment against the disgraced R&B singer’s label because it is “in possession of property” belonging to the disgraced singer that can be used to pay down the debt, if not eliminate it altogether.
Back in March, Illinois Supreme Court ruled Heather Williams was entitled to access the disgraced singer’s label fund — which was reportedly valued at $1.5million in 2020, according to Billboard — before Midwest Commercial Funding, a property manager that won its own separate $3.5million ruling against Kelly over unpaid rent on a Chicago studio.
It is not clear, however, whether R. Kelly’s royalty fund is still worth more than $1.5million as of this writing.
In 2020, Williams won a $4million judgement against Kelly after filing a civil lawsuit against him a year prior. She alleged that when she was 16, the “Ignition” hitmaker lured her to his studio on a promise she could be in a music video and then had sex with her multiple times as a minor.
The state high court’s decision on Thursday upheld an earlier ruling by a lower court that Williams — and not Midwest Commercial — should be given priority to access the royalties because she was the first to properly file a demand for the money.
The earlier ruling ordered the label to hand over “any funds currently in Kelly’s royalty account” to Williams and to keep paying her from his royalties until the judgment was paid off.
R. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, originally sought to overturn the $4million judgement against her client, claiming that the award to Williams “never should have been entered” because it was issued after Kelly failed to respond to a judgement he knew nothing about.
“I’ve never in my career seen such a flouting of the rules to deny him even the opportunity to defend these civil cases, even when the courts were fully aware that Kelly was incarcerated, unrepresented at points, and facing multiple criminal indictments,” Bonjean said. “Indeed, much of these civil proceedings occurred without Kelly’s knowledge.”
But when Billboard contacted Bonjean for a comment about this latest entry into the docket, she said she had “no opinion” on the latest move by the prosecutors seeking to garnish his royalties.
At the sentencing, which took place on February 22, the judge ruled that all but one year would be served concurrent to the 30-year sentence he’s currently serving in New York after being found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.
A grand jury ultimately found the Chicago native guilty on six of the 13 federal charges which included three child pornography charges for sexually abusing four girls — three of whom were minors.
They also found Kelly guilty of making three videos of himself sexually assaulting his 14-year-old goddaughter, which resulted in another three charges for producing sex tapes with a minor.
The ruling came shortly after a series of pending sex abuse charges against R. Kelly in Cook County, Illinois were dropped. The singer was indicted in 2019 on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were under the age of consent.