Alleged sex offender R Kelly 'won't perform in Dubai'

Alleged sex offender R Kelly 'won't perform in Dubai'
Dubai Media Office denied claims by American singer R. Kelly of scheduled performances in the Gulf state.
2 min read
26 March, 2019
The claims were refuted by authorities in Dubai [Getty]
The United Arab Emirates rejected claims it had scheduled performances for embattled American singer R. Kelly, who has been in the spotlight for a number of sex abuse charges going back decades.

"Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly, nor are there any venues that have been booked," Dubai Media Office said in a statement after the artist’s lawyer sought to get his client to travel while on bail.

motion filed in court claimed that the singer also made plans to meet members of the Emirati royal family during his trip - an allegation denied by authorities in the Gulf state who said he "has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance."

According to AP, Kelly's lawyer Steven A. Greenberg said the R&B and hip hop artist "had a signed contract with a legitimate promoter." 

"Any information that was included in the motion to travel was from that contract. We did not say he was invited by the royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them," he added. 

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, nor did anyone in the entertainment industry hear about one," according to a report by Gulf News.

Kelly was briefly taken into custody earlier this month after failing to pay more than $160,000 in child support and was required to surrender his passport.

His lawyer will file a motion this week requesting permission to fly to Dubai on a private jet, arguing that he needs to work to "pay his day-to-day living expenses", according to US media.

The concerts have not been promoted online and were reportedly booked before his court case began.

Dubai has positioned itself as a luxury destination for the rich and famous; an autocratic refuge from the norms of democratic civic life.

In February, R Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them children.

Read more: Is R Kelly a human trafficker?

The artist stood in a Chicago courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit as his lawyer entered the plea, days after Kelly, 52, turned himself in and was arrested.

His arrest came after a documentary series renewed attention on decades of accusations against the performer, including child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.

After a dramatic trial he was acquitted in 2008 of charges of child pornography, also in Chicago.

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