R. Kelly failed to appear at a hearing in federal court on Wednesday due to his concerns that someone would step on his infected toenail, the singer’s lawyer has claimed.
Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, told U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber on Wednesday morning that Kelly failed to appear as scheduled because he'd had a toenail removed after an infection and that the singer was worried someone would step on his foot during the journey from the jail to the courthouse, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Kelly, 52, is currently in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is two blocks away from the federal courthouse, according to Fox News.
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Greenberg said that Kelly is currently wearing a walking boot, but said that he does not personally know which foot or toe is affected, according to the Tribune.
Kelly was arrested in Chicago in July and is being held without bond. He is facing separate federal indictments in New York and Illinois related to claims of sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, and child pornography.
Kelly faces 13 counts in Chicago that include producing and receiving child pornography and enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, among others, according to CBS Chicago. Two of the singer’s former associates have also been charged in relation to Kelly’s alleged activities. Derrel McDavid, his former manager, is alleged to have conspired to get rid of tapes that Kelly allegedly made of himself that feature the sexual abuse of minors, while another former associate, Milton “June” Brown, has been accused of using the postal system to ship the allegedly pornographic videos, the station reports.
Both associates are also alleged to have conspired with Kelly to pay his victims to remain silent about the alleged abuse, according to the Tribune.
McDavid and Brown have both pleaded not guilty to the charges, with McDavid requesting that the charges against him be dismissed; a judge ruled on Wednesday that prosecutors respond to the motion within five weeks, according to CBS Chicago.
Kelly’s legal team has also requested that he be released on bail; that request has not been granted, but was slated to be discussed at Wednesday’s hearing, according to CNN. The next hearing is scheduled to take place on Feb. 13, the outlet reports.
Kelly, who has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct and has pleaded not guilty, faces felony counts in New York that include racketeering, and has been charged in Minnesota with engaging in prostitution with a person under 18.
His trial in Chicago is slated to begin in April, while the New York trial is scheduled for the following month, according to the Tribune.
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