Disgraced singer R Kelly's "friends" arrested for threatening victims
R&B singer R Kelly, currently incarcerated at Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago, is in news for his "friends" now. The US Department of Justice recently released a statement about the arrest of three of his accomplices - Richard Arline, Michael Williams and Donnell Russell - on charges of threatening Kelly's victims and attempting to buy them out so that they stop cooperating with prosecutors.
They bribed victims, threatened to reveal their intimate photos
Those accused hold varying degrees of charges of threatening victims of Kelly's abuse to mislead the racketeering case in NYC against the disgraced singer. While Arline is accused of bribing a victim with $500,000 to not help the prosecutors, Russell has been charged with intimidating another victim by threatening to expose images of her sexual history if she didn't take down the case.
The third one even burned an SUV as threat!
Williams, on the other hand, has allegedly stepped up on this route and burned an SUV right outside the Florida residence of a victim in June this year, as a form of warning. While Arline calls himself Kelly's friend, Russell is reportedly an advisor, friend and manager of the singer. Williams is a relative to a past publicist of Kelly, claim prosecutors.
Kelly 'has nothing to do' with this, says his lawyer
After announcing the charges against the three, acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme said their intentions were to "subvert the integrity of justice" and "victimize the women" who have leveled serious allegations against defendant (Kelly). In response, Kelly's attorney Steven Greenberg said the singer "has nothing to do" with the charges and "has not attempted to intimidate anyone, or encouraged anyone else to do so."
Kelly faces charges of child pornography, aggravated criminal sexual abuse
The I Believe I can Fly hitmaker is accused of abusing teenage girls for about two decades since the 1990s, which emerge in the documentary Surviving R Kelly. In February 2019, he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was arrested in July that year for child pornography, racketeering, sexual abuse and obstruction of justice.