NEAR WEST SIDE — Nearly three weeks after a Cook County judge limited the hours of R. Kelly’s Near West Side recording studio, the disgraced R&B singer has moved out, his attorney said.
“R. Kelly can never be creative and do his job under these circumstances which leaves him no choice but to leave his building,” Steve Greenberg, the singer’s attorney, said in a press release Wednesday.
On Feb. 8, Associate Judge Patrice Bell-Reed made an emergency motion limiting the use of the studio at 219 N. Justine Street from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to court documents.
Greenberg said the ruling was “without any logical rationale” and that the singer was being ordered “not to be creative from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.”
The motion came after city inspectors found several apparent violations of the city’s building code and evidence people were living in the space, despite being zoned for manufacturing.
The building was originally used as a photography studio but now houses a steam room, sauna room, recording rooms, kitchen, bar, heating-plant rooms and bedrooms, among other things, requiring construction that was done without permits, according to a compliant logged by the city.
Greenberg said Kelly has been under a microscope with media vans camped out the studio, and a webcam aimed at the studio’s front door broadcasting the front door 24-hours a day, preventing him for doing his job.
On Feb. 10, an Atlanta TV news crew staking out R. Kelly’s studio had its car keys swiped — and the crew said it believes it was by a member of the singer’s entourage — during hours the singer was ordered not to be at the studio.
Kelly is opting to leave the property, but was also facing eviction.
In January, Cook County court records show that an eviction order was entered against Kelly to vacate the warehouse and studio, the Sun-Times reports. The building’s owners allege he owed about $80,000 in back rent.
In a statement, an attorney for Midwest Commercial Funding, which owns the 219 N. Justine St. building, said the firm initiated eviction proceedings against Kelly in June 2018.
Renewed attention has been focused on Kelly following the release of a six-part docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which alleged victims discuss the singer’s involvement with underage girls.
Last week, a newly surfaced video allegedly shows singer R. Kelly assaulting an underage girl, attorney Michael Avenatti said.
The video is 42 minutes long and was not previously known to the public or to law enforcement, Avenatti said in a statement.
It allegedly shows a man, who Avenatti said is Kelly, assaulting a girl,” according to CNN, which said it’s reviewed the video.
The two perform sex acts and the man asks the girl or woman to urinate, according to CNN. She does, and the man then urinates on her.
The acts shown in the video occurred within Illinois’ statute of limitations, and the video has been given to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Avenatti said.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office told Block Club they “could not confirm or deny an investigation.”
Kelly faced child pornography charges in Cook County stemming from a 2002 sex tape that prosecutors said showed him with an underage girl. He was acquitted at trial of the charges in 2008.
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