UPDATED: 6:56 p.m. EDT — GoFundMe said Monday that it has removed accounts from its site that were created to raise money to bail disgraced singer R. Kelly out of a Chicago jail. But a quick search of the crowdfunding site found that others still existed.
“These campaigns violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and they’ve been removed from the platform,” a GoFundMe spokesperson wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune. “Our team continuously monitors the platform and will take necessary action.”
Kelly managed to make bail on Monday after spending the weekend in jail following his arrest Friday night for 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
One Twitter user brought attention Monday morning to what appeared to be more than two dozen GoFundMe accounts created to raise money for Kelly, 52.
A request for comment emailed from NewsOne to GoFundMe resulted in an automatically generated response early Monday afternoon that the “email will be read as soon as possible.”
However, as of 7 p.m. EDT, GoFundMe had yet to respond to NewsOne.
UPDATED: 6:04 p.m. EDT — R. Kelly was finally able to post the $100,000 for his bond on Monday afternoon, according to a new report. He was expected to be released from jail later in the day, the Associated Press reported. It was unclear whether any of the apparently more than two dozen GoFundMe accounts started to raise money for the disgraced singer’s bail were used to free Kelly.
Earlier in the day, Kelly made a brief court appearance and pleaded not guilty to all of the 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse he was facing for his alleged crimes against four female accusers.
Disgraced singer R. Kelly was still trying to bail himself out of jail Monday after he pleaded not guilty to a host of sex crimes he was charged with committing against young women and underage girls. Bail for the 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse was set at $100,000 — 10 percent of his $1 million bond — but the Associated Press reported that “coordinating the payment is complicated.”
With Kelly’s finances in doubt — not including his lawyer fees, he owes overdue rent and unpaid child support — some of his shameless fans and supporters have decided to launch crowdfunding efforts to help raise his bail money.
One Twitter user brought attention to what appeared to be more than two dozen GoFundMe accounts created to raise money for Kelly, 52, who has been in the custody of Cook County in Chicago since he turned himself in Friday night.
A quick search of the website revealed a handful of other, similar accounts. They all appeared to violate the crowdfunding site’s policies, which says on its website that it prohibits “campaigns we deem, in our sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.”
A request for comment emailed to GoFundMe resulted in an automatically generated response early Monday afternoon that NewsOne’s “email will be read as soon as possible.”
Even before the arrest, there was speculation about how much money the singer actually had.
“This is someone who should be wealthy,” Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg said Saturday, pointing to bad contracts and mismanagement of money as part of the reasons that Kelly’s pockets are empty.
Kelly does not have the career he had more than a decade ago when he faced child pornography charges and was acquitted.
His last song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 was “PYD” with Justin Bieber in 2013. The fallen star was reportedly being evicted in January from the infamous Chicago recording studio that was at the center of his child porn trial, bringing attention to the state of his finances.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a “county judge ordered Kelly evicted from the building. Midwest Commercial Funding sued Kelly last summer, alleging he owed the company nearly $80,000 in back rent. The judge ruled in Midwest Commercial Funding’s favor, court records show, and awarded the company $166,981 while also issuing an ‘order of possession’ for Midwest Commercial Funding.”
Attorney Michael Avenatti recently gave a video to Cook County prosecutors, which could be where Friday’s charges stemmed from. He tweeted Monday morning that he would be giving another video purportedly of Kelly “engaged in sexual assault of a minor.”
The lawyer previously said he was hired last April in connection to multiple allegations of Kelly sexually assaulting minors. He claimed to have a 45-minute VHS tape as evidence, which, despite its similarities, was not the same video that got Kelly indicted in 2002 — and acquitted in 2008 — for child porn.