It seems the lawsuits keep mounting up for disgraced R&B singer and convicted sex trafficker and racketeerer R. Kelly.
Per Page Six, three of Kelly’s accusers are suing the entertainer and his manager Donnell Russell for allegedly employing various intimidation tactics intended to keep the 2018 premiere of the Surviving R. Kelly documentary from moving forward. According to the suit filed at the Manhattan Supreme Court, Lizette Martinez, Lisa Van Allen and Faith Rogers all claim that “Kelly and his inner circle began an orchestrated effort to silence, harass, bribe and intimidate those brave young women and their friends and family.”
The suit goes on to describe how the “defendants used escalating methods of intimidation moving from legal to terroristic in a matter of hours,” referring to a call of a shooting threat that was allegedly made by Russell to Neuehouse Theater in New York City on Dec. 4, 2018, that caused an evacuation and derailed the show’s screening. Prior to the call, the suit also says that a cease-and-desist letter was sent from Kelly’s camp in an attempt to keep the documentary from airing.
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“Defendants were also aware of and acted in furtherance to engage in acts to intimidate, silence, threatened and physical (and sexually) assault women who disclosed Kelly’s misconduct,” the filing charges.
The suit claims that Kelly and his companies should have known what Russell was capable of and should have protected the women who were coming forward with their stories of abuse.
Instead, Kelly and his companies fostered, “an environment where criminal misconduct was a normal course of agents’ … performance obligations,” the court papers claim.
As previously reported by The Root, Russell was arrested and federally charged last year for “intimidating and threatening” Kelly’s accusers, along with two other men, Richard Arline and Michael Williams. Williams was recently sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of witness intimidation for driving to an accuser’s home and setting a car on fire this November.
Though all these men have been proven to be connected to the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer via his entourage, Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean claims their actions have no bearing on her client.
“This lawsuit in no way connects Mr. Kelly to the alleged intentional acts of Donnell Russell. These are just allegations and when the facts are demonstrated, what the public will learn is that Mr. Kelly had no role in directing harassment or intimidation of any potential witness or individuals,” Bonjean said in a statement.
In September, R. Kelly was convicted on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking in violation of the Mann Act following a month-long federal trial in New York. He’s expected to be sentenced in May 2022. The federal Chicago trial for the disgraced entertainer is set to begin on August 1, 2022.