Artist News Legal

Judge refuses to refund R Kelly’s bail money to woman who paid it

By | Published on Thursday 19 September 2019

R Kelly

A Chicago woman has been told that she won’t receive a refund of the $100,000 she handed over to pay R Kelly’s bail, even though the musician is no longer on bail, having been reincarcerated as a result of newer additional charges of sexual assault.

Restaurateur Valencia Love paid the sum on Kelly’s behalf in February after the music star was first arrested over ten counts of aggravated sexual assault and it became clear he couldn’t personally meet the sum of money demanded by the court to secure his release from jail. She listed herself simply as “a friend” on court papers.

However, since then other criminal investigations into allegations of sexual assault, including against under-age girls, have resulted in further charges. In the latter cases, Kelly was refused bail, and so is now in jail awaiting his trials. Hence Love thought there was a good case to get her $100,000 back.

In a court filing requesting the return of her money, she said that, back in February, she was unaware of the federal investigations that subsequently resulted in Kelly being locked up without bail. The fact that he’s not now walking free, she reckons, means she hasn’t got what her $100,000 was meant to pay for, so she should get the money back.

Technically the bail money should be returned anyway once the ongoing case in Chicago reaches its conclusion. Though it’s not clear how long that would take, and the bail money could actually be used instead to pay Kelly’s legal fees. Although, Love says that, actually, the reason she wants the money back now is so that she can lend her friend more cash to fund his defence.

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Love said that Kelly has, in fact, already paid her back the original money, disputing that he was unable to pay the bond himself. “He wasn’t able to get to his money because it was the weekend and he was the only one who had access to his account. It was basically a loan”, she said. As for her efforts to get the bail money back now, she added: “Why is it such a big deal? He’s already locked up. Why can’t the bail money be returned?”

The judge overseeing the case denied Love’s motion to have her money returned, saying that there is no legal precedent for this. He also pointed out that the papers she signed when handing the money over clearly state that it may end up not being returned, for example if legal fees need to be paid.

As well as denying Love’s motion, the judge also denied a motion by the prosecution that requested that Kelly’s bond be increased. He pointed out that, as Kelly was already being held without bail on other charges, the bail amount on the original case was “kind of a moot point”.