R Kelly Accuser Wins Default Judgment in Civil Case

CHICAGO (CN) – R&B star R. Kelly lost one of his many court battles Tuesday, with a Cook County judge granting a default judgment in a civil sexual assault case against him.

The plaintiff, Heather Williams, says she met Kelly on a Chicago street in 1998 when she was just 16 and started a sexual relationship with him after being lured to his music studio with promises of an appearance in one of the singer’s videos.

R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ via AP Pool, File)

Kelly’s attorneys filed to withdraw from representing him last month, saying in their motion that “counsels feel that circumstances have evolved that prevent the counsels from zealously advocating on behalf of the defendant.”

Judge Moira S. Johnson quickly granted the request and gave Kelly 21 days to find a new attorney, but no appearance was filed and no one showed for his court hearing Tuesday. A default judgment was entered in Williams’ favor.

The road has been rocky for Kelly from the start of the lawsuit. An initial default judgment was granted in the very beginning of the case because the singer did not respond to the complaint.

That was vacated once the singer’s former attorneys – Zaid Abdallah, Shady Yassin and Raed Shalabi – said he couldn’t read the papers he got when he was served in jail.

Judge Johnson then denied Kelly’s motion to dismiss the complaint due to the statute of limitations, and he finally decided to exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the civil case due to the numerous pending criminal charges against him.

Currently in federal prison in Chicago awaiting several trials, Kelly faces charges ranging from sexual assault to child pornography to racketeering in state and federal courts in Illinois, New York and Minnesota for his alleged decades-long sexual abuse of minor girls.

Adding to his money troubles, which include being sued by his ex-wife for back child support, a second civil complaint was filed last Friday by Kelly’s former landlord to collect on a judgment.

Kelly was evicted from his infamous music studio last year, but still owes $3.4 million for rent, future rent and damages to the building as part of the eviction order, according to the complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Williams’ civil case is set for a final prove-up hearing on March 10.

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