R‘n’B singer R Kelly is seeking permission to fly to Dubai to perform, even as he faces 10 counts of criminal sex abuse charges in the US.
According to a report by ABC News, Kelly’s lawyer is putting in a request to a judge to board a ‘private jet to Dubai’ for a series of shows. It is not yet clear who the local organisers are.
Kelly, who is currently out on bail, is fighting a legal battle for allegedly abusing four young women, three of whom were minors at the time. The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ hit maker pleaded not guilty to the charges in February. The singer also wound up in jail for a brief time earlier this month over failing to pay $160,000 (Dh587,613) in child support.
As part of his legal proceedings, the 52-year-old’s passport has been surrendered in Cook County where the case has been registered.
ABC News further reported Kelly’s legal motion is expected to claim the singer has been booked for ‘three to five shows’ between April 17 and 19 in Dubai.
The news further reports Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg is expected to argue that the singer’s job requires him to travel to pay for his living expenses and child support.
Kelly is due back in criminal court on March 22 to face his sex abuse charges.
The Grammy-winning artist has faced sex-related accusations before — he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, as reported by AP. Kelly’s reputation took a bigger a hit after the release of the Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R Kelly,’ which aired in January.
This was followed by a social media campaign where the #MuteRKelly hashtag trended globally as fans pushed to boycott his music and concerts. Streaming services also stopped promoting his songs.
In February, a German concert arena cancelled its contract with the organiser of a Kelly tour as news of the sex abuse allegations broke. He was scheduled to perform in Hamburg, Germany on April 12.
Kelly broke into the music scene in 1993 with his first solo album, ‘12 Play’. Over his career, he has also penned songs for other artists, including Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga.