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A Judge Has Closed Off The Second Floor Of R.Kelly's Chicago Studio

“We did find bedrooms with bathrooms. Inside the bathrooms there was evidence of toiletries, robes, and it appeared that people were living in the property.”

A Chicago judge ordered the second floor of R.Kelly’s studio to be shut down. The 52 year-old musician, who is now under criminal investigation stemming from a slew of allegations of physical and sexual abuse against a bevy of women, initially used the warehouse as a place of work, but apparently as a residence as well.

The judge on the case mandated that the warehouse can only be of use from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to CBS Chicago, an inspection took place at the property on January 16, which revealed the property has bathrooms, bedrooms, a kitchen, a full bar and lounge area.

Because the building is zoned for commercial use only, all the evidence found suggests that people indeed inhabit the premises.

“We did find bedrooms with bathrooms. Inside the bathrooms there was evidence of toiletries, robes, and it appeared that people were living in the property,” Kimberly Roberts, deputy corporation counsel said. “In addition to that, the stairs were dangerous.”

Another form of evidence found in the property was a staircase, which allegedly was not properly secured to a wall. Ultimately, the deficient staircase can become a major fire hazard if an emergency were to occur on the premises. In response to the findings, Judge Patrice Ball-Reed mandated that the second floor be closed until the staircase is repaired.

“There’s no plan to suggest how this was built out. There hasn’t been one inspection by a city inspector to verify the work was done properly, and being out there, it’s obvious that the work was not done well, which leads us to concerns about public safety,” Ball-Reed said. “If a fire breaks out with that lack of fire separation, the entire warehouse can go up.”

Still, R,Kelly’s attorney Melvin Sims said that despite all that was found, his client does not use the studio as a residence but only as a workplace. “A facility on the premises does not a residence make. A couch on the premises does not make it a living room,” Sims said. “Obviously, you have attorneys and judges, and we are interpreting how a creative space is to be used, and we’re probably the least creative people inclined to do that.”

A follow-up hearing will take place on February 7, where another debate will take place to see if the studio will remain open in any capacity.

 

 

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Jussie Smollett attends the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit at New York City Center on November 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

'Empire' Camp Says Jussie Smollett Never Complained About Salary

The accusations made towards Jussie Smollett in the alleged staged assault has those close to the actor-musician scratching their heads–including his Empire family.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Thursday (Feb. 21), sources close Empire were surprised to hear a salary increase was the motive behind the actor's reported staged attack in January. The Illinois state prosecutor stated in a press conference Smollett paid two brothers to orchestrate a homophobic racist attack in an effort to get his star rising and his pockets heavier. But those close to the Empire set believe that can't be the case since as he was most recently paid $125,000 per episode.

"I don't think it's true that he was unhappy with what he was being paid," the source told THR. "His representatives never once called and there was no effort to renegotiate. He's never expressed any dissatisfaction."

Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Smollett's base pay was in the $40,000 to $50,000 region but after setting record-breaking ratings in the first season, the main characters received a big increase with Smollett receiving $125,000 per episode and esteemed actors Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard moving from $110,000-$120,000 per-episode to the  $225,000-$250,000 range. Aside from season one, there are 18 episodes from season two to season five.

The actor has officially been cut from the last two episodes of the fifth season to avoid "disruption on set."

"While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out, a statement from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer reads. "We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of Jamal from the final two episodes of the season."

Smollett has also maintained his innocence throughout the entire case. Alternative motives have pointed to a boost to his music career but the actor also seemed to be pleased with that as well.

Speaking to VIBE just after the release of his debut album Sum of My Music, the actor was pleased with his journey outside of Empire.

"Here’s the thing, I’m not ashamed of Empire songs. I wrote a lot of them," he said. Empire's soundtrack was a hit with fans as it climbed to the top of the Billboard charts in 2015.  "I’m proud of the work I’ve done with Empire. I just can’t be only Empire, that’s not all I am."

His project moved 7,000 units and views on his YouTube channel views have been modest with "Catch Your Eye" feature Swizz Beatz reaching 620,000 views and audio of "F.U.W." reaching 1.1 million spins. His most popular song on Spotify isn't an Empire-related track, it's "Ha Ha (I Love You)" from Sum of My Music.

As the case might to go trial, one can only hope the full truth will be revealed.

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Blac Chyna Reportedly Calls Soulja Boy "Immature And Thirsty" After Split

After a whirlwind (almost two-week) romance, Blac Chyna and Soulja Boy have officially called it quits. And to add insult to injury, it seems like things did not end on a good note.

According to TMZ, a source close to the reality star and mother-of-two said that she reportedly called her ex-beau “immature and thirsty.” Additionally, Chyna is seemingly glad they’re over.

Previously reported by Page Six, the “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” rapper alluded to never officially dating the 30-year-old. “What I look like dating Blac Chyna lmao I’m in a relationship with Tiona Fernan stop playing with me lol,” Soulja Boy wrote on Twitter. Since then, the tweet has been deleted.

In another now-deleted tweet, he also revealed he thinks Chyna hacked into his phone. “Blac Chyna hacked my phone. Smh I didn’t tweet that last tweet apology. I left my phone at her house smh,” he tweeted.

While their relationship fell apart, the 28-year-old rapper is now focusing on his career. He recently revealed on Twitter a new album is in the works and even asked fans for some investment advice.

Anyone know any dope investments I can make a flip on while I got this big bag

— Soulja Boy “Draco” (@souljaboy) February 21, 2019

I can’t wait to my album drop. Tory Lanez. Swae lee. Triple Redd. Bhad Bhabie. ASAP Ferg. Asian doll. Smooky margeila, chief Keef, money man, Nicki Minaj, Ronny j, Murda Beatz. Wow 🔥

— Soulja Boy “Draco” (@souljaboy) February 21, 2019

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Cardi B Defends Khloé Kardashian Amid Cheating Scandal

Cardi B is stepping up to defend Khloe Kardashian after reports broke out that her boyfriend Tristan Thompson cheated with Jordyn Woods, who happens to be the best friend of Khloe's younger sister, Kylie Jenner. In a video on Instagram Live on Thursday (Feb. 21), Cardi suggested that Khloe should not be continuously mocked and humiliated.

"I’m seeing this whole Khloé Kardashian thing where everybody is celebrating that that happened to her. And it’s like, why?" The Bronx native asked in the video. "I know the Kardashians have done f**ked up sh*t before and everything, but I think karma got them when the last situation happened to short before she gave birth."

Cardi, who also went through a public debacle with her husband Offset for his infidelities, went on to state that people should not wish for the downfall of women, especially mothers. "Whatever karma they ‘deserve,’ it already happened. So why do you keep wishing that on a woman? Especially a woman who has a daughter," She added. "Why do we wish that on each other?"

She continued: "We know that our heart is literally bleeding, and you just want to die and you can’t sleep. You can’t escape it when you’re sleeping because you actually dream about it. It’s mainly the women in the comments. Why do you guys manifest and be happy off of that? She already learned her lesson."

She also offered some advice to Khloe about the current state of her relationship."Do what your heart feel like doing," Cardi told the reality star. "At the end of the day, everybody wanna act like they date deacons and pastors and their relationship is perfect."

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