Cash-strapped R. Kelly wants permission to leave U.S. and perform in Dubai

Last Updated Mar 22, 2019 11:38 AM EDT

No decision was made Friday morning about whether Kelly could travel to Dubai. The judge issued a continuance for May 7. 

R. Kelly is heading back to court in Chicago Friday to ask the judge in his criminal case to let him travel to the Middle East. In court papers filed this week, Kelly says he is supposed to perform three to five shows next month in Dubai and meet members of the royal family.

When he was released on bond last month, R. Kelly agreed to surrender his passport and seek the judge's permission whenever he planned to leave the state. Kelly now says his finances are in shambles and if he's going to fix it, he has to go overseas, reports CBS News' Jericka Duncan.

Kelly says the contract for those April concerts was signed before he was arrested in February on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Three of his four alleged victims were 16 years old or younger.

"He's obviously upset that he can't move about and play concerts and go about his business," Greenberg said.

Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, says he is now struggling to fund his legal defense, make child support payments and pay day-to-day expenses.

"He's gotta go where he can make a living and that happens to be where someone is willing to pay him to perform and he can get a venue," Greenberg said.

Despite churning out hit songs for decades, Kelly told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King earlier this month he only had about $350,000 left in his bank account.

"When you have 30 years of success, unfortunately, it becomes the gift and the curse," Kelly told King. "People tricking me, managers, road managers, accountants, you know, never knew any parts of the business … I just knew music."

The three-time Grammy winner has been dropped by his record label and streaming services have removed his songs. Twice he's relied on friends and fans to get him out of jail, paying his $100,000 bond and more than $161,000 in back child support.

"He's not going to hide, he's not going to flee," Greenberg said. "And, frankly, if someone was going to flee, they wouldn't ask for permission to flee."

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. His claims of financial hardship didn't get any sympathy from the #MuteRKelly movement. The group's leaders urged the judge to reject Kelly's travel request noting many of his alleged victims met him at his concerts.