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Back in August, six women were awarded $10.5 million following a lawsuit that stemmed from the December 2018 screening of Surviving R. Kelly in New York City. The event was temporarily shut down after being threatened with a violent intimidation tactic.
However, R. Kelly is pushing back against the settlement claiming that the co-plaintiff, Donnell Russell, is solely to blame and should be held financially responsible. Kelly also denies claims that Russell ever was his manager and didn’t know he attempted to stop the screening from taking place. “He did that for his own reasons,” Kelly insists, according to TMZ.
The convicted felon was reportedly unaware of the aforementioned lawsuit and would’ve defended himself had he known. Kelly reportedly said it’s been hard to keep up with all the lawsuits he’s faced since being in prison, especially considering he’s changed legal teams multiple times.
Plus, even if he’d been aware of the lawsuit, Kelly concluded that he wouldn’t have been able to understand the legal jargon because “I cannot read or understand words beyond that of a grade schooler.”
The victims behind the lawsuit alleged that the incident triggered previous traumas, which resulted in them suffering from PTSD and panic attacks. Each woman is set to receive between $1.1 million and $2.25 million each.
Prior to the verdict, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly of Brooklyn ordered that Kelly’s royalties be garnished in order to pay the owed restitution and fines equating to $506,950.26. Donnelly had previously ordered Kelly to surrender $28,000 from his prison commissary and apply the money towards his debt.
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