The woman who bailed R. Kelly out of jail met the singer only a few months ago, another friend has claimed, as the mystery deepens around the $100,000 cash that secured Kelly’s conditional release from Cook County Jail in Chicago.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Don Russell, described as a friend and “advisor” to Kelly, told the newspaper that Valencia Love met Kelly this past September on a Spirit of Chicago cruise around Lake Michigan. He also claimed that Love reached out Kelly’s friends when she heard he was having trouble making bail, and offered to help.
Kelly was arrested on Friday and charged with 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving four alleged victims, three of them underage. A judge set his bail at $1 million, and over the weekend his lawyer told reporters that Kelly was having trouble coming up with the required ten percent of the bond amount to secure his release.
“She wanted Rob to have a chance at justice, and she thought he’d have a better chance outside of jail than inside,” Russell told the Chicago Sun-Times.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Love has given conflicting accounts regarding the source of the funds. On Tuesday, in her first published comments about putting up bail, she told ABC News that the $100,000 was Kelly’s “own money.”
In a later interview with a Fox 32 News reporter, Love wouldn’t say if it was her money or Kelly’s money but insisted that Kelly was not “broke.”
A woman identifying herself as Love reportedly contacted the Chicago Sun-Times and disputed some of Russell’s account, though the report doesn’t state what specifically she challenged. Russell also told the newspaper that Love was among a group of people who were with Kelly on Monday night after he was released from jail. They went to a McDonald’s and later to a cigar bar.
According to the report, Love filed for bankruptcy in 2015 due to unpaid parking tickets, but received a large settlement in 2017 as the result of a family tragedy: Love and her ex-husband each received just over a million dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit regarding their daughter’s 2010 death. Court records obtained by the newspaper show that Love’s daughter died during a heart procedure at a Chicago hospital that has since closed.
Kelly pleaded not guilty on Monday to all 10 criminal charges. As a condition of his release, he is forbidden from being in contact with females under the age of 18.
[Feature image: Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP]