It has been reported on Thursday 23rd March, 2023, that Heather Williams, one of R. Kelly’s sexual abuse victims, was granted access to his Sony Music royalties, estimated to worth $1.5 million.
According to Billboard, Illinois Supreme Court determined that her claims should be “given precedence” over the disgraced crooner’s Chicago landlord, whom he also owes $3.5 million.
Williams filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the convicted singer claiming that he enticed her into his studio at age 16 by offering her a part in a music video. Kelly repeatedly had sex with her while she remained underage. After concluding the litigation in 2020, she was granted a $4 million settlement.
The court later ruled that Williams should continue receiving his royalties until the judgment is paid off.
After his 2022 sentencing on sex trafficking and racketeering charges, Kelly was ordered to pay over $48,000 in fines and restitution. When he was sentenced again in February on child pornography charges, he was ordered to pay an additional $42,000.
Prosecutors seized close to $30,000 from the 56-year-old’s prison account to start paying off the penalties.
Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, is currently working to appeal Williams’ judgment. She argued that the “default” judgment awarded to Williams “never should have been entered.”
Distribution of Kelly’s royalties held by Sony has been stalled until the conclusion of his legal proceeding, but it’s unclear how much money is now in the account.
Story: Elizabeth Ereke