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It looks like R. Kelly is getting another chance to fight a sexual abuse lawsuit after a judge first ruled against him.
A judge previously ruled against the 52-year-old singer by default after he failed to respond to a suit filed by a woman who claimed that he abused her as a minor. However, a judge vacated that judgment at a hearing on Wednesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Kelly is scheduled to return to court in relation to the suit on June 19, according to the outlet.
The unnamed woman, who filed the suit in late February, said that soon after she met Kelly as a teenager in 1998, the two embarked on a sexual relationship for a year, the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported. She is reportedly one of four who prosecutors, who have charged Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in a separate case, say Kelly victimized. Kelly has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations against him.
After the judgment last month, Kelly’s legal team claimed that Kelly failed to respond to the suit because he did not have the ability to read it. Kelly “suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read,” his attorneys, Zaid Abdallah and Raed Shalabi, said in legal documents obtained by TMZ.
They also claimed the fact that Kelly was served while in jail for issues related to child support didn’t help matters, the outlet reports.
Kelly’s lawyers believed the timing of the suit was not coincidental, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“They knew charges were being brought,” Shalabi said Wednesday. “Mr. Kelly believes the motive is money. He’s obviously going to be denying the allegations, and that’s our position at this point.”
Jeffrey Deutschman, attorney for the plaintiff, denied as much, telling the outlet he did not know there was an indictment coming before he and his client filed the suit.
“My client had a case and we filed it,” he said. “We filed it as fast as we could, pretty much because there were potential statute of limitations issues.”
Kelly was briefly jailed in February after failing to pay more than $160,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, but was released thanks to the efforts of an anonymous donor, who paid off Kelly’s debt.
Kelly’s child support saga continued on Wednesday, however, with Kelly paying $62,000 in back child support in order to bring his account up to date, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
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