R Kelly’s manager, Donnell Russell, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to stalking and harassing one of the disgraced singer’s sexual abuse victims.
According to the Department of Justice (for Rolling Stone), Russell, 47, used text messages, phone calls and emails to intimidate one of Kelly’s victims, identified as Jane Doe, and her mother into not talking about her experience with the singer. Russell allegedly threatened to release explicit photos of the victim if she did not drop the civil lawsuit against Kelly. “Pull the plug or you will be exposed,” he wrote in a text message sent on January 3, 2019. Russell also posted the photos on a Facebook page he took under an alias called “Surviving Lies,” a play on the 2019. surviving r kelly documentary detailing their abuse, showing them again during two 2020 livestreams.
“Russell used threats, harassment and intimidation in a deliberate effort to silence one of R. Kelly’s victims and prevent her voice from being heard,” US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “When his initial effort failed, he continued his vile campaign by sending threatening messages to Jane Doe and her mother, and posting explicit photos of the victim online before and after Kelly was charged. As this indictment makes clear, the defendant’s conduct was not only reprehensible, it was also criminal and will not be tolerated.”
Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Ricky J. Patel added: “Through the use of intimidation tactics, Russell repeatedly and deliberately worked to silence ‘Jane Doe’ from disclosing the emotional and physical trauma. inflicted on him by R. Kelly and his associates. Despite multiple threats, Russell ultimately failed in his efforts and will now face the consequences of his despicable behavior.”
In June, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of extortion related to the sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping and forced labor, as well as eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal. “transport any woman or girl” across state lines “for any immoral purpose.” That sentence was the conclusion of his federal sex trafficking case in New York; Meanwhile, in September, a federal jury in Illinois found Kelly guilty of child pornography. The singer also faces state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.