R. Kelly judgment withdrawn after lawyers say he can't read

Lisa Damico, an attorney for musician R. Kelly, speaks to the media after the R. Kelly appeared at the Daley Center for a hearing in his child support case on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

A lawyer for R. Kelly told a judge that the R&B singer didn't respond to a lawsuit brought by one of four women he's charged with sexually abusing because Kelly is illiterate and couldn't read the court documents

CHICAGO — R. Kelly spent much of Wednesday in court, with his lawyer explaining to one judge that the singer didn't respond to a lawsuit brought by one of his sexual abuse accusers because he is illiterate and with Kelly paying $62,000 in back child support during a second hearing.

At the first hearing, Judge Moira Johnson vacated a default judgment she made against Kelly after the singer failed to respond to a lawsuit brought by one of the four women he's charged with sexually abusing. Johnson reinstated the lawsuit after one of Kelly's attorneys explained that the singer was in jail when he was served with the lawsuit documents and that Kelly didn't respond because he can't read.

The second hearing, which pertained to child support, came weeks after the judge in that case ordered Kelly to jail after finding him in contempt of court for failing to pay $161,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, who is the mother of his three children. Kelly remained locked up for three days until he raised the back child support.

"He's not a deadbeat dad," Kelly's attorney Lisa Damico told reporters after Wednesday's hearing, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. "All he wants to do is do right by his kids."

Kelly's bookings for performances began drying up following the airing of a television documentary "Surviving R. Kelly." That was weeks before his February arrest on charges accusing him of sexually abusing a woman and three girls over roughly a 10-year period starting in the late 1990s. But on Tuesday, one his attorneys told reporters that he was lining up performances for the Grammy award-winning R&B singer in Illinois and outside the state, and that he anticipated the judge approving requests to travel to make those appearances.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges and denied any wrongdoing.

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