Darrell Johnson, who was serving as R Kelly‘s ‘crisis manager’ during the R&B star’s ongoing legal issues, has stepped down from his post just hours after publicly defending the musician.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Johnson said that “I wouldn’t leave my daughter with anybody that’s accused of paedophilia” before defending the singer, saying he was “scared” and “isolated”.
He did not declare Kelly’s innocence outright, but described him as a “normal person” and that “I haven’t seen anything that would cause me to be suspicious”.
“They’ve indicted Mr. Kelly. He’s in jail right now. He will have his day in court,” Johnson added. “And they’ll have to bring the evidence. And that’s what has to be done. If the evidence sticks, Mr. Kelly will spend the rest of his life in the penitentiary.”
Just a few hours later, however, Johnson announced his resignation. “I step down as crisis manager for personal reasons. Mr. Kelly is in good hands with Mr. Greenberg,” he said, referring to Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg.
Earlier this month, Kelly was denied release on bond after being arrested on federal sex trafficking charges in Chicago.
Kelly has been arrested on a total of 13 counts including child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice.
In February, Kelly pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges in Illinois involving four women. Three of the women were minors when the abuse is alleged to have occurred.
The recent series of charges against Kelly followed the airing of a TV documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, on the network Lifetime. In the programme, seven women, including Kelly’s ex-wife Drea Kelly, accused the singer of emotional and sexual abuse.
Kelly has vigorously denied all of the allegations levelled against him.