Dubai’s government have denied that there were plans for R Kelly to perform, after he sought permission to travel there for a number of shows.
Earlier this week, a new court filing claimed that the cash-strapped singer has struggled to secure work in the US after he was arrested on sex abuse charges last month.
The motion filed in Cook County Circuit Court stated Kelly was planning up to five Dubai concerts in April. Details of specific venues or how much the singer was going to earn weren’t included, though the shows are thought to have been organised prior to his arrest.
The live appearances were said to have been planned to ease the strain of Kelly’s mounting legal fees – along with child support and everyday expenses. Cancelled shows in Illinois and his music being removed from streaming platforms resulted in Kelly’s growing financial struggles.
Now, a rare statement from Dubai’s government has denied that any concerts were being planned. “Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked,” it read.
It’s also stated that the artist “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance”.
Kelly’s lawyer Steven A. Greenberg has responded to the statement in an email to The Associated Press. “Mr Kelly had a signed contract with a legitimate promoter, and any information that was included in the motion to travel was from that contract,” he said.
“We did not say he was invited by The royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them.”
R Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of sexual abuse last month, before being released from jail this month on $100,000 bail.
Claims of Kelly’s sexual activity with underage girls resurfaced amid the recent documentary series, Surviving R Kelly. Buzzfeed had previously reported in 2017 that Kelly ran a sex cult. He has constantly denied any wrongdoing.