R. Kelly defaults on Chicago sex abuse lawsuit after failing to appear in court

R. Kelly

A judge has ruled embattled singer R. Kelly defaulted on a sex abuse lawsuit in Chicago, Illinois after failing to show up in court.

The civil lawsuit was filed by Heather Williams, who claims she met the star on a Chicago street in 1998 and he lured her into having sex with him when she was 16.

Judge Moira S. Johnson granted the default judgment against the I Believe I Can Fly hitmaker, who is currently being held in custody, after he was absent from yet another hearing in the case, after previously skipping appearances for hernia surgery and refusing transportation from jail.

The case will be up for a final hearing on 10 March.

The ruling comes after Kelly's former Chicago landlord sued the singer for $3.4 million (£2.6 million) he allegedly owed in back rent for his studio space, court records show.

Kelly, full name Robert Sylvester Kelly, is scheduled for an April trial in Chicago federal court on charges of creating and possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. He is also scheduled to go to trial in July in New York federal court on racketeering, sex-trafficking and bribery charges.

However, his lawyer Steve Greenberg is hopeful the Chicago trial will be postponed after the 53-year-old was hit with fresh federal charges that he sexually abused another minor victim over a four-year period, starting when she was 14 or 15 years old, on Valentine's Day.

Kelly will be arraigned on the new indictment on 5 March.

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