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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 April 2019

R Kelly seeks court permission to travel to Dubai to perform

The musician, who is facing legal accusations for sexual abuse, is due to perform three to five concerts between April 17 and 19

R Kelly is looking to perform in Dubai, with his lawyer seeking permission to travel on the ground that he needs to work to “pay his day to day living expenses”.
R Kelly is looking to perform in Dubai, with his lawyer seeking permission to travel on the ground that he needs to work to “pay his day to day living expenses”.

Singer R Kelly will seek permission in court to fly to the UAE to perform in a series of concerts, according to reports in the United States.

The musician, who is facing sex abuse charges dating back to 1998 against four women, three of whom were underage at the time, is due to perform in three to five shows between April 17 and 19 in Dubai, ABC News reported.

The concerts, which are not being promoted online, were booked before Mr Kelly was charged, according to his legal team.

It is not yet clear who has booked the concerts or where they are scheduled to take place.

Mr Kelly, who was briefly taken into custody earlier this month for failure to pay $161,000 (Dh591,000) in child support, was required to surrender his passport. As a result, he cannot legally leave the US without the permission of the court.

His lawyer, Steve Greenberg, will file a motion on Friday, asking permission to fly to Dubai on a private jet, arguing he needs to work to “pay his day-to-day living expenses”.

"If you can't play a show. If you can't go out on tour, they're not streaming your music anymore obviously you're going to have financial problems," Mr Greenberg told US media.

He previously said Kelly "really doesn't have any money at this point" due to "mismanagement," "hangers-on" and "bad deals", speaking last month.

Last month, days after Kelly was charged with sexual abuse in the most recent cases, a concert promoter in Germany cancelled a gig that was due to be held in Neu-Ulm on April 12.

“Regarding the new and objective facts, we have decided to cancel the contract,” a spokesman from Ratiopharm Arena in Neu-Ulm said.

Mr Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is out on bail.

But it is not the first time he has faced such allegations in court.

In 2002, he faced 21 counts of child pornography from a sex tape with a girl who was allegedly underage. Mr Kelly was not convicted as prosecutors could not prove she was underage.

Sexual abuse allegations against Mr Kelly stem back to the 1990s. But he has faced renewed scrutiny in recent months following a six-part documentary called Surviving R Kelly, which aired in the US in January. In the documentary, more than 50 women claimed he abused them.

Mr Kelly also claims to have been a victim of sexual abuse when he was a child, having been raped by a female family member when he was eight years old.

Updated: March 20, 2019 03:32 PM

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