Content warning: This article mentions sexual abuse
Three alleged associates of Robert Kelly – aka R. Kelly – have been charged with intimidating and threatening the singer’s alleged victims earlier this week in New York.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York claims one of the men, Richard Arline, Jr., is a “self-proclaimed longtime friend of Kelly”, who is accused to bribing an alleged victim – offering her $500,000 “to keep her from cooperating with the government”.
Donnell Russell, meanwhile, is “a self-described manager, advisor and friend of Kelly” who is accused of harassing and intimidating an accuser of Kelly’s and her mother after the woman filed a lawsuit against the singer. Russell allegedly threatened to reveal sexually explicit photographs of the accuser and publicly reveal her sexual history if she did not withdraw her lawsuit and disassociate with those campaigning against Kelly.
The third man, Michael Williams, is reportedly related to a former publicist of Kelly’s, according to NPR. Williams allegedly “set fire to an SUV parked outside a residence in Florida” where an alleged victim of Kelly was staying. Prosecutors allege that Williams searched the internet for information about the flammability of fertiliser and diesel fuel, witness intimidation and tampering, and information regarding countries that do not have extradition treaties with the U.S.
One of Kelly’s attorneys, Steve Greenberg, has denied Kelly’s association with the charges. “Without question, Robert Kelly had nothing to do with any of these alleged acts by those charged,” Greenberg wrote on Twitter yesterday. “He hasn’t attempted to intimidate anyone, or encouraged anyone else to do so. No involvement whatsoever.”
Kelly himself is accused of an array of charges relating to the alleged abuse of almost a dozen girls and women over two decades between 1994 and 2018. His trial is scheduled to begin next month on Tuesday, 29th September.
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.
For help or information regarding mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.