Less than a week after R. Kelly’s manager and adviser was convicted of making a threatening phone call during a screening of Surviving R. Kelly, that same manager has now pleaded guilty to an interstate stalking charge in Brooklyn federal court, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace stated that 47-year-old Donnell Russell used harassment and intimidation tactics to quiet one of Kelly’s sexual abuse victims.
From the Associated Press:
Peace said in a statement that Russell sent threatening messages to the woman and her mother and later published explicit photos of the victim on the internet.
Russell could face up to five years in prison at a Nov. 17 sentencing.
Prosecutors said the harassment campaign stretched from November 2018 to February 2020 after the woman filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly.
Russell is following in the footsteps of his boss and gaining a long criminal record of his own. On Friday, he was convicted of making a threatening phone call that forced a Manhattan theater to cancel and evacuate an early screening of the 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly. Prosecuting attorneys argued that Russell was trying to protect what was left of the disgraced R&B singer’s career.
A witness said that a man called the theater to warn that someone was coming to the screening to “shoot up the place.” The call came from Russell’s home and he made more than nine calls to cancel the screening, according to the Associated Press.
Surviving R. Kelly was a documentary series from Lifetime that laid out the multitude of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B singer over his decades-long career. Along with many celebrities and people that worked closely with the singer, the series also featured many of Kelly’s alleged victims.