Live

Watch CBSN Live

Judgment against R. Kelly withdrawn after singer's lawyers say he's illiterate

Gayle King questions R. Kelly on abuse allegations

Chicago — The singer known as R. Kelly spent much of Wednesday in court, with his lawyer explaining to one judge that their client didn't respond to a lawsuit brought by one of his sexual abuse accusers because he is illiterate. Kelly also paid $62,000 in back child support during a second hearing.

At the first hearing, Judge Moira Johnson vacated a default judgment she made against Kelly after the singer failed to respond to a lawsuit brought by one of the four women he's charged with sexually abusing. Johnson reinstated the lawsuit after one of Kelly's attorneys explained that the singer was in jail when he was served with the lawsuit documents and that Kelly didn't respond because he can't read.

The second hearing, which pertained to child support, came weeks after the judge in that case ordered Kelly to jail after finding him in contempt of court for failing to pay $161,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, who is the mother of his three children. Kelly remained locked up for three days until an anonymous person paid the amount on his behalf.

In an emotionally charged interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King in March, Kelly said he was unable to make bail because he was unable to access his bank account. He said he had around $350,000 in his bank account and had been financially struggling.

"How can I pay child support? How?! If my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can't work? How can I work? How can I get paid? How can I take care of my kids? How?" he said through tears.  

Kelly's bookings for performances began drying up following the airing of the television documentary "Surviving R. Kelly," which recounted multiple women's claims of abuse. That was weeks before his February arrest on charges accusing him of sexually abusing a woman and three girls over roughly a 10-year period starting in the late 1990s.

In his interview with King, Kelly denied the sexual abuse allegations along with claims that he had beaten, starved and held women against their will.

"Just a lot of rumors that suggest that I'm handcuffing people, starving people. I have a harem. — whatcha call it, a cult. I don't even know what a cult is. But I know I don't have one," Kelly told King.

On Tuesday, one his attorneys told reporters that he was lining up performances for the Grammy Award-winning R&B singer in Illinois and outside the state, and that he anticipated the judge approving requests to travel to make those appearances.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges and denied any wrongdoing.

View CBS News In