R. Kelly’s manager Donnell Russell has been convicted in a 2018 incident. Associated Press reports Russell has been found guilty of phoning in a threat to open gunfire during a screening of the award-winning docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
He was convicted of threatening physical harm through interstate communication and his sentencing is set for November.
In December of 2018, the threat was made to NeuHouse Madison Square, the New York City venue where the screening was scheduled to be held. #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Jamilah Lemieux, Angela Yee, and R. Kelly’s abuse accusers Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee, and Lizzette Martinez were all expected to be in attendance.
The haunting call resulted in the evacuation of the venue.
At the time, R. Kelly’s ex-wife believed the disgraced singer was involved.
“The first thing that came to my mind — and I can’t speak for anyone else — was that [R. Kelly] had this shut down,” she expressed.
Despite this belief, the jury cleared Russell on a conspiracy charge, stating in a note to the judge that they did not think Kelly was involved with the threat. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz presented the jury with phone records she claimed proved the call was made from Russell’s Chicago home.
R. Kelly was convicted of racketeering and sex-trafficking charges in September 2021 and sentenced to 30 years behind bars this past June. Kelly is also set to stand trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois next month.
At his sentencing, Judge Ann M Donnelly told Kelly, “The public has to be protected from behaviors like this. These crimes were calculated and carefully planned, and regularly executed for almost 25 years. You taught [your victims] that love is enslavement and violence.”