R. Kelly was moved out of solitary confinement and into the general population Tuesday, but prosecutors are hitting back at claims from the singer's legal team that he was held there against his will.
Prosecutors pointed to a recorded jailhouse telephone call where Kelly supposedly explained why he refused to go into general population when it was offered. According to a motion obtained by the Chicago Tribune, Kelly was afraid his fame made him too popular among regular inmates.
"If I go to population… I’m just up on everybody and everybody’s up on me, and I’m trying to figure out how to trust that or whatever," Kelly was quoted as saying in the July 19 call. Kelly was arrested in Chicago on July 11.
The disgraced R&B singer apparently preferred the Special Housing Unit, a section for at-risk prisoners, at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, because he feared for his safety.
"You know, and that’s why, I was like, hmmm, too many people up on you and I done seen too many movies, you know, and it’s just, and then I’m so popular here, it’s like yeah man," Kelly allegedly said.
Prosecutors stated that Kelly had three different cellmates, despite a claim from the singer's lawyer that he had "no meaningful interaction with other humans." Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg filed a motion last week alleging the singer was being subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" at MCC, partly due to his celebrity status. However, prosecutors said Kelly has had access to an indoor recreation area three times a week and has purchased items from the commissary, "including snacks such as Snickers," per the Chicago Tribune.
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Greenberg for comment about the recorded phone call, but did not immediately receive a response.
Kelly is being held without bail, which is what Greenberg intends to fight next.
#RKelly is being moved out of solitary and in to general population. Next step is to get him bail because he should not be locked up at all!— Steve Greenberg (@SGcrimlaw) September 1, 2019
On Wednesday, a Chicago judge set a trial date for April 27, 2020 in Kelly’s federal case where he is accused of child pornography and obstruction of justice. The trial is estimated to last three weeks; however, the date could be moved as the singer faces various sexual misconduct charges in three other judicial districts. Kelly appeared at the status conference in orange jail clothes with his hands behind his back, according to the Associated Press. The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 18.
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