Tag Archives: Kelly

R. Kelly Claims Ex Trashed Him to Their Kids … Child Support Stopped in Response

EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly is rationalizing his decision to stop paying child support — claiming his ex-wife set the ball in motion by turning their children against him. 

Sources close to R. Kelly tell us the singer was absolutely lashing out at Drea Kelly when he quit writing child support checks … a move that ultimately landed him in Cook County jail.

We’re told Kelly feels like he tried to maintain a relationship with his 3 kids, but he blames Drea for ruining any chance of that. He’s said he thinks she brainwashed them.

Of course, Kelly’s revenge move is incredibly warped logic — punishing your ex by cutting off the money needed to help your kids. 

We broke the story … Kelly owes Drea over $ 160k in back child support, and he was begging the court for a reduction so he could get out of jail. Of course, Kelly coughed up the bare minimum — $ 161,633 – on Saturday, and walked out of jail a free man again.

Sources close to the singer tell us he scraped the cash together with the help of a “benefactor.” He assured his fans Saturday that “we’re gonna straighten all this out.”

As we’ve reported … Kelly was supposed to be paying Drea $ 20,833 per month as of January 2009 — but he fell way off schedule last year. 

R. Kelly’s camp says the singer got into a huge fight when he last saw Drea back in 2017 … and after that, we’re told she changed her phone number and didn’t allow their daughter and 2 sons to talk to him. 

Drea paints a much different picture. She told us Kelly cut her off as a means of controlling her when she first spoke publicly about him allegedly abusing her. She also insists he’s the one who changed his phone number.

Even after all that, Drea told us she was open to Kelly reconnecting with his kids — but she says they haven’t heard from him since 2017.

R. Kelly Moving Out of Recording Studio After Judge Restricted Access

EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly is leaving the Chicago recording studio where he produced some of his biggest hits. 

The singer’s lawyers, Melvin Sims and Steven Greenberg, tell TMZ … Kelly is moving out because court-ordered restrictions made it impossible for him to keep his creative juices flowing.  

As we’ve reported … a judge limited the studio’s working hours after city inspectors found tons of building code violations

Kelly’s people say he’s struggling to adjust to the sweeping changes — especially cutting off his overnight access — so he’s looking for a new place to record. They insist 24-hour access is the widely accepted industry standard, so his 9 PM curfew has impaired his “musical innovation.”

Kelly produced tons of hits in the studio, including “Ignition,” “Step In The Name Of Love,” and “Trapped In The Closet” — but it’s also the place where he’s allegedly held women against their will. The studio was featured in Lifetime’s docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly.”

R. Kelly FBI Investigates Azriel Clary Flight When She Was a Minor

EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly allegedly arranged a coast-to-coast trip for Azriel Clary when she was underage, and the FBI is now looking into the trip to see if Kelly committed a federal crime … TMZ has learned.

Azriel, one of the women featured in “Surviving R. Kelly,” was flown from Palm Springs to Phoenix to Orlando on May 25, 2015. She flew US Airways, leaving Cali at 6:57 AM and eventually landing in Florida at 4:09 PM.

A source connected to Azriel’s family tells us the flights were arranged by a woman who was Kelly’s assistant at the time.

Here’s why it’s potentially a big deal. Azriel was only 17 at that time and that means Kelly could have violated the Mann Act — the federal act that makes it illegal to transport a minor across state lines for purposes of sex, debauchery or prostitution.

We’re told the FBI just learned about the flights within the last week. As we reported … the FBI has also been in touch with Joycelyn Savage‘s father multiple times in the last 18 months — so it’s clear the feds are taking the Kelly allegations seriously. 

R. Kelly sources tell us the singer believes he did nothing wrong because he has this signed note from Azriel’s mom, Alice … giving Kelly’s assistant consent to care for Azriel. 

It’s not a great defense, because you can see it’s dated Sept. 21, 2015 — but Azriel made the trip back in May 2015. However, we’re told Kelly’s camp thinks the note shows her parents were generally willing to let Azriel travel with him.

He might end up having to make that point in court. Stay tuned.

Kevin Hart You Really Askin’ if MJ is Like R. Kelly?

EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Hart had a visceral reaction to our photog who asked if there was any equivalency between Michael Jackson and R. Kelly.

We got Kevin Friday night in WeHo leaving The Nice Guy, and we wanted his take on whether people would react to “Leaving Neverland” the same way they did to “Surviving R. Kelly.” Kevin seemed to visually show a combo of shock and disdain … but wouldn’t elaborate.

As we reported, the 2 accusers featured in the MJ documentary — Wade Robson and James Safechuck — were front and center for the premiere of the MJ doc Friday at the Sundance Film Festival. It was so emotional people in the audience were sobbing.

Earlier in the night we got Kevin in Bev Hills at Avra restaurant and asked about The Game‘s sexual references re: Kim Kardashian West. It seemed he hadn’t heard, but he did talk about respecting someone’s wife.   

TLC’s Chilli I Muted R. Kelly … When He Married A Child

EXCLUSIVE

Chilli from TLC says R. Kelly has been dead to her for decades … because she knew he was trouble way back in the ’90s when he put a ring on a teenager.

We got Chilli Friday in Atlanta where she told us she’s been muting R. Kelly ever since he married Aaliyah in 1994 — when he was 27 and she was only 15. Chilli says that was the first red flag, and from then on she’s considered him a “monster.”  

While Chilli has always refused to work with Kelly, there ARE some people she’s dying to get in the studio with … Weezer! Turns out she loves the band’s new album of covers.

As you know, Weezer covered TLC’s smash hit, “No Scrubs” … and Chilli is totally feeling their version. As she puts it, the guys in the band ain’t no scrubs for covering the legendary jam. 

Watch … Chilli makes her pitch for a collab and tells us which Weezer tune she wants to cover. She also says she’s got a major announcement coming soon … about a tour! 

Kelly Rowland On Super Bowl … I Would Not Perform!

EXCLUSIVE

Kelly Rowland has a ton of respect for Gladys Knight — but tells TMZ Sports she would NOT have made the same choice to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Of course, Rowland is playing Gladys Knight in the BET series, “American Soul.” She’s previously talked about what an “honor” it is to play the 74-year-old singing legend. 

So, with Knight at the center of the NFL controversy — we asked the former Destiny’s Child singer what she would have done if the NFL asked her to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the big game. 

Rowland tells us … she would have turned them down — though, she doesn’t go into detail. 

As we previously reported, there’s been a backlash from stars like Nick Cannon and Common who have told us they wish stars like Travis Scott would pull out of the Super Bowl over the way the league has treated Colin Kaepernick

Despite the criticism, Knight has doubled down on her decision to perform — saying she hopes to use the Super Bowl platform to unite the country

Rowland has worked with the NFL multiple times in the past — in fact, she performed with Beyonce at the Super Bowl back in 2013. 

But, after watching this clip … don’t expect another DC reunion any time soon. 

Jim Kelly and James Conner Cancer Survivors Unite at Pro Bowl … ‘Never Give Up!’

Breaking News

Cool moment at the Pro Bowl — two NFL stars who battled cancer and WON bonded in Orlando this week … which makes this pic of Jim Kelly and James Conner inspiring as hell. 

Obviously, Conner made the Pro Bowl after balling out with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year — and Kelly is there as an assistant for the AFC squad. 

Conner’s story is pretty amazing — he was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015 after a stellar junior year at Pitt. He underwent months of chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free in 2016. 

58-year-old Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his jaw in 2013 and has undergone several major surgeries since … including a major reconstructive procedure in 2018. 

So, when they spotted each other on the sidelines of the Pro Bowl practice in Orlando on Thursday, they had an instant connection. 

“These two know the game of football,” Jim’s wife, Jill Kelly, wrote … “And they know cancer. Superstars and survivors…NEVER GIVE UP!”

Kelly, Conner and the rest of the AFC will take on the NFC on Sunday — and ya better be rooting extra hard for these guys! 

R. Kelly FBI Contacted Alleged Victim’s Family … Shortly Before ‘Surviving’

EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly‘s relationship with Joycelyn Savage — one of his alleged brainwashed sex slaves — has done way more than raise eyebrows with viewers of “Surviving R. Kelly” … we’re told it’s caught the attention of the feds.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ … Joycelyn’s dad, Timothy, has been contacted by an FBI special agent regarding the R&B singer at least 5 TIMES in the past year and a half … most recently weeks before Lifetime’s docuseries began airing on January 3.

We’re told Timothy provided the FBI with all the known whereabouts of Kelly and Joycelyn from state to state, starting with where their relationship began, along with text messages or emails.

Our sources say Timothy provided the feds with lots of the same information regarding alleged predatory behavior and physical abuse he gave Lifetime for ‘Surviving.”

The FBI has jurisdiction when an adult brings a minor across state lines for sexual purposes.

It’s unclear if the FBI has launched an official investigation into R. Kelly … but it’s clear the controversy and accusations against him are on the agency’s radar. He’s already under criminal investigation in Georgia.

As we’ve reported … Joycelyn’s family believes Kelly is holding her against her will — something she strongly denies. The 2 were seen shopping together in April 2018, and we caught her out “vacationing” in Beverly Hills back in May without Kelly.

We’ve reached out to the FBI but were told the agency does not confirm or deny investigations.

R. Kelly Inside Alleged ‘Sex Cult’ Studio … Photos Show Bizarre Scene

Photos from inside R. Kelly‘s alleged “sex cult” recording studio in Chicago have just been released … showing proof of code violations and plenty of evidence someone may have been living there.

The photos were taken by Chicago officials when they raided the building on suspicion the unit may be used as a permanent residence. Check out the gallery … it’s a completely bizarre scene inside the studio that was heavily featured in “Surviving R. Kelly.” 

During one point in the documentary, the family of one of Kelly’s alleged victims showed up at the property to try and rescue their daughter. 

As we reported … the studio was hit with a laundry list of building code violations, and Kelly is being barred from using the space for anything other than a recording studio from 9 AM to 5 PM.

R. Kelly Chicago Studio Hit With 66 Violations … Facing Heavy Fines!!!

Exclusive Details

12:20 PM PT — According to R. Kelly’s attorney Melvin L. Sims III … despite the violations, the judge sided with the singer and rejected the City of Chicago’s motion to shut the building down completely.

Kelly’s legal team argued the problems with the studio did not mount to an “Emergency” situation, so instead, repairs were ordered along with the removal of personal items. Sims says the studio is still open for business as a studio during normal working hours.

R. Kelly is in serious trouble with Chicago officials because the city is going after him for a laundry list of building violations at his studio … and it could end up costing the singer a ton of cash!!! 

The Chicago studio, heavily featured in “Surviving R. Kelly” was slammed with 66 building code violations, most notably for using the place as a residence and not obtaining permits to build a sauna, steam room and a bar … this according to legal docs. 

In the docs, each violation comes with a fine ranging between $ 500 to $ 1,000 for each day the violation goes unaddressed … and with 66 violations, R. Kelly could be looking at a fine between $ 33k to $ 66k per day!

The court has already ordered R. Kelly to remove all personal items from the premises and he can only use the space as a recording studio from 9 AM to 5 PM. 

As you know … R. Kelly’s studio was swarmed last week by Chicago cops and the Cook County Building and Zoning Department — and they ended up filing a complaint against R. Kelly.

Sources close to R. Kelly deny he’s ever lived in the studio and R. Kelly believes the space is exactly as it was when he first started renting it 3-4 years ago.

Originally Published — 11:46 AM PT