An Illinois judge who issued a default judgment against R. Kelly in a sex abuse lawsuit has withdrawn her ruling, allowing him another chance to challenge the suit in court.
On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Moira Johnson reinstated the civil lawsuit against Kelly, 52, after his new lawyers, Raed Shalabi and Zaid Abdallah, claimed the singer couldn’t read the lawsuit—which was served to him while he was jailed for nonpayment of child support. As a result, Kelly is scheduled to appear in court on June 19, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The defendant does not recall being served,” Kelly’s attorneys said in an April 26 court filing. “The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence, he cannot.”
As previously reported by the Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit was filed by a woman who claimed Kelly sexually abused her as an underage girl in the late 1990s. Identified as “H.W.” in court documents, prosecutors said she was celebrating her 16th birthday when Kelly’s manager reportedly gave the girl Kelly’s card, leading to an intimate relationship during which the pair reportedly had sex about once a month for a year.
In her suit, H.W. claimed Kelly drove up to her to talk as she walked outside before one of his associates approached her inside a restaurant. The associate allegedly then said Kelly wanted to speak with her and invited her to Kelly’s studio. From there, H.W. and Kelly had multiple sexual encounters where Kelly “represented to (H.W.) that this behavior was appropriate,” the suit stated.
H.W. sued Kelly, alleging the abuse caused emotional distress in addition to “great shame, guilt, self-blame, confusion, [and] depression,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Reports indicated that H.W. is one of the four women Kelly’s facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually abusing. The singer’s currently charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were underage at the time.
News regarding the civil suit came the same day Kelly handed a $62,000 cashier’s check to his ex-wife, Drea Kelly, making him current in his child support payments. The singer was arrested for three days in March for failing to pay $161,000 in back child support. He was released after an anonymous person reportedly paid the overdue amount.
[Featured image: R. Kelly/AP Photo/Matt Marton]