Artist News Legal

R Kelly associate admits attempting to pay off witness

By | Published on Wednesday 3 February 2021

R Kelly

A friend of R Kelly has admitted that he offered a woman half a million dollars to stay silent about claims that she was involved in an abusive relationship with the musician as a teenager.

Richard Arline Jr also asked the woman not to hand over potentially incriminating videos to investigators. Unfortunately for him, those investigators were listening to and recording the call.

Arline pleaded guilty in court yesterday, admitting that he had offered the unnamed woman money more than once, in May and June 2020.

“Me and another person offered Jane Doe money for her to not go forward with her complaint or testimony against Robert Kelly”, he said. “I knew what I did was wrong, and I’m sorry”.

On one call, he is heard offering $500,000 in exchange for the unnamed woman’s silence. In another, he is heard telling her that once she receives payment she would be expected to make videos of R Kelly in her possession “disappear”. He also explicitly says that the offer of payment was authorised by Kelly himself.

In other intercepted communications Arline is heard telling another person that he needs to pay the woman “to be quiet” because “she got too much”.

He now faces a sentence of up to fifteen years in prison.

Arline was arrested last August alongside two other man also accused of attempting to extort or intimidate witnesses in Kelly’s pending sexual abuse trials.

Kelly’s manager Donnell Russell is accused of threatening to leak nude photos of a woman if she did now withdraw from the investigation. Michael Williams is accused of setting fire to a car outside another woman’s house, after sending threats to her father.

Kelly, of course, remains held in custody while he awaits trials in Chicago and New York to face numerous abuse charges. One of the reasons he has been denied bail is due to evidence of witness tampering during his previous child abuse trial in 2008.