Threatening to shoot-up a theater when you’re already being implicated in a series of other heinous crimes isn’t exactly smart. But that certainly didn’t stop R Kelly’s former manager, Donell Russell.
On Monday, a judge sentenced Russell to a year in federal prison for threatening to shoot-up a Manhattan theater in 2018 that was screening the infamous Surviving R Kelly Documentary. For those who didn’t watch the Lifetime documentary, the series explores the horrifying abuse suffered by R Kelly’s victims and the ways the industry and enablers of the now-disgraced artist covered it up.
It took decades for R Kelly’s serial abuse of women and children to lead to real consequences. No thanks to folks like Russell, who did everything in their power to protect him.
R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June for sex trafficking. And in September, a Chicago federal jury convicted him of producing child pornography and enticing children for sex. He has yet to be sentenced in the Chicago case.
Russell was heavily implicated in covering up for R Kelly. Last month, a Brooklyn judge sentenced Russell to 20 months in prison for among other things, sending threatening messages to one of R Kelly’s accusers and publishing sexually explicit content of her online.
Still, you have to question the logic of threatening to shoot-up a movie theater over a documentary that already makes you look bad.
In the 2018 phone call, Russell claimed that someone had a gun and was planning to fire into the crowd gathered to watch and celebrate the ground breaking documentary. The district attorney alleges that he did this to ruin the moment for survivors and advocates who’d gathered to celebrate the release.
For his part, Russell claimed that he had made mistakes but that he was “not a horrible person.”
Russell will serve time for the movie theater threats and threatening R Kelly’s accuser simultaneously. Meaning he won’t be serving additional time for this new crime.