Friday 19 April 2019

Dubai denies R Kelly concert plans

The singer had requested to travel to the emirate during a court appearance on Friday.

R Kelly arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court for a hearing on Friday in Chicago (Matt Marton/AP)
R Kelly arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court for a hearing on Friday in Chicago (Matt Marton/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Dubai’s government has forcefully denied a claim by R&B singer R Kelly that he had planned concerts there.

It comes after he sought permission from an Illinois judge to travel to the emirate despite facing sexual abuse charges.

In a rare statement, the government’s Dubai Media Office also denied claims by his lawyer in court that Kelly had plans to meet the ruling Al Maktoum family.

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R Kelly outside Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday (Matt Marton/AP)

“Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked,” the statement said.

It added Kelly “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance”.

Kelly and his lawyer in Chicago could not be immediately reached for comment.

The singer was charged on February 22 with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage girls and one adult woman, coming after the release of a documentary Surviving R Kelly.

He has denied ever abusing anyone.

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Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg addresses the media on Friday (Matt Marton/AP)

In a court filing last week, Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg said the singer needed to raise money as “he has struggled of late to pay his child support and other child related expenses”.

“Before he was arrested Mr Kelly had signed a contract to perform between three to five shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019,” the court filing read.

“He requests permission to travel to Dubai for the shows. While there he is supposed to meet with the royal family.”

The filing did not elaborate on where Kelly was allegedly supposed to perform.

There was no immediately publicised event for which Kelly was known to be a performer.

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