Despite Reports, R. Kelly Is Not in Solitary

Since his arrest in July, disgraced singer R. Kelly has been sitting in an Illinois jail awaiting trial for federal cases. After turning himself in for one set of state-related charges in February, Kelly was let out on bail as the investigation continued. By July, he was hit with federal indictments in two separate states for alleged sex crimes that occurred across state lines, and the charges keep piling up.

This week, it was reported that Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, claimed that Kelly is in tears about being in solitary confinement and that his legal team was working to get him sent to general population. Now, the story is being refuted.

R. Kelly
R. Kelly | Scott Olson/Getty Images

R. Kelly’s attorney filed motions to have the singer moved

CBS reported that Greenberg filed documents with an Illinois court requesting that Kelly be released from federal solitary confinement into the general lockup. Citing it as a violation of his constitutional rights to be segregated, Greenberg wrote in court papers that Kelly is being punished for being a celebrity. According to him, he only showers three times a week, has no access to recreation or email, and receives restricted visitation.

According to The Blast, the filings state:

“Instead of placing the Mr. Kelly one of several other floors available as an alternative to general population, the BOP has placed Mr. Kelly where inmates go to be punished, on the facility’s most restrictive floor, with zero privileges. In essence, even though he has not violated a single BOP rule, Mr. Kelly is being unconstitutionally punished and segregated from the rest of the prison population.”

To support his case for a shift in jail accommodations, Greenberg noted an email sent from someone at the Federal Bureau of Prisons which says that an inmate will only remain in “administrative detention when their continued presence in the general inmate population poses a serious threat to themselves or others.”

Federal officials say it’s not true that Kelly is in solitary confinement

Lawyers for the U.S. government have responded to Kelly’s defense attorney’s motion to have the singer moved. They state that he has not been segregated from other inmates for quite some time, and that initially, he requested to be isolated upon his arrival at the facility.

Per a report from the Chicago Sun Times, U.S. Attorney Angel Krull filed a counter motion to shut down the request. Krull stated that Kelly “appears to want special treatment because of his celebrity status. Suffice it to say that (Kelly) is not in solitary confinement as he has had a cellmate for quite some time despite his initial refusal. In fact, he has had more than one cellmate so far.”

Greenberg challenged the idea that his client wants special treatment by stating that Kelly refused to room with an inmate who was caught with a shiv. A judge is expected to rule on the detention housing matter on Wednesday. Kelly is currently being held without bond.

The latest news on R. Kelly’s multiple court cases

Kelly is awaiting trial on a myriad of federal charges including child pornography, racketeering, kidnapping, sexual exploitation of children, human trafficking, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. That’s in addition to separate sets of state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Because of the nature of the crimes and the amount of charges he’s facing, if convicted, it’s possible that he won’t go to court for all the cases. At this time, Kelly is facing more than 100 years in prison.