New lawsuit claims R. Kelly, manager tried to 'silence, intimidate' sex abuse victims

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Dec 02, 2021, 02:28 PM IST


Story highlights

“Defendants used escalating methods of intimidation moving from legal to terroristic in a matter of hours,” the lawsuit against R. Kelly and Donnell Russell claimed.

More trouble for R. Kelly ahead.

The  disgraced singer and his manager have reportedly been sued by accusers for allegedly trying to intimidate them.

They would allegedly call in a shooting threat to a theater premiering a documentary about him, new court documents reveal. 

Lizette Martinez, Lisa Van Allen and Faith Rogers have filed a lawsuit at Manhattan Supreme Court against the fallen singer, who have claimed that they were sexually abused by the 54-year-old convict. They have accused the duo of beginning a planned effort to "silence, harass, bribe and intimidate those brave young women and their friends and family."

The lawsuit also claims that Kelly’s manager, Donnell Russell, made a series of threats to stop the 2018 premiere of docuseries 'Surviving R. Kelly' from coming out in the open, the court papers that were filed on Monday claim. 

“Defendants used escalating methods of intimidation moving from legal to terroristic in a matter of hours,” the suit claimed.

Last year, Russell was arrested for allegedly making the anonymous threat to the Neuehouse theater on December 4 of 2018 and causing an evacuation from the venue, thus derailing the show’s screening. That case is still pending trial, reports confirm. 

The theater threat will have a lasting impact on the women who “were understandably terrified and exposed,” the suit states.

Russell and two other people, Richard Arline and Michael Williams, were accused of trying to intimidate and bribe Kelly’s victims. Both Arline and Williams have pleaded gulity to their respective charges in the case. 
Allegedly, defendants and others were aware of Kelly’s abuse of women but did nothing to help them, “likely to protect the R. Kelly brand, name, reputation, image, and continued fame, success, and financial benefit,” the suit claims.

“Defendants were also aware of and acted in furtherance to engage in acts to intimidate, silence, threatened and physical (and sexually) assault women who disclosed Kelly’s misconduct,” the court papers further reveal.

The suit also states that Kelly and his companies must have known what Russell was capable of doing and should have protected the women who were coming forward with their allegations of abuse.

However, Kelly and his companies created “an environment where criminal misconduct was a normal course of agents’ … performance obligations,” the court papers claim.

Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean told a global daily, “this lawsuit in no way connects Mr. Kelly to the alleged intentional acts of Donnell Russell.”

“These are just allegations and when the facts are demonstrated, what the public will learn is that Mr. Kelly had no role in directing harassment or intimidation of any potential witness or individuals,” Bonjean explained.  

Russell’s lawyers are yet to comment on this new lawsuit.