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In Sex-Abuse Case, R. Kelly Lawyer Says He Can't Read

The accused singer has a busy day in court
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 8, 2019 7:35 PM CDT
Musician R. Kelly arrives at the Daley Center for a hearing in his child support case on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

(Newser) – R. Kelly spent much of Wednesday in court, with his lawyer explaining to one judge that the singer didn't respond to a lawsuit brought by one of his sexual abuse accusers because he is illiterate, the AP reports. At the first of two hearings, Judge Moira Johnson vacated a default judgment she made against Kelly after the singer failed to respond to a lawsuit brought by one of the four women he's charged with sexually abusing. Johnson reinstated the lawsuit after one of Kelly's attorneys explained that the singer was in jail when he was served with the lawsuit documents and that Kelly didn't respond because he can't read. "The defendant does not recall being served," Kelly’s attorneys said in an April 26 filing, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

"The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot," they added. The second hearing, which pertained to child support, came weeks after the judge in that case ordered Kelly to jail after finding him in contempt of court for failing to pay $161,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, who is the mother of his three children. Kelly remained locked up for three days until he raised the back child support. Kelly paid $62,000 in back child support during the hearing. "He's not a deadbeat dad," Kelly's attorney Lisa Damico told reporters afterward. "All he wants to do is do right by his kids." Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges and denied any wrongdoing.

(Read more R. Kelly stories.)

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