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The Illinois Supreme Court has granted a victim of R Kelly’s sexual assault $4 million to be paid from the singer’s Sony Music royalty account.
On Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court granted Heather Williams priority access to R. Kelly’s Sony Music royalty account, to pay the $4 million default judgment awarded to Williams from a civil suit filed in 2019.
Williams filed a civil suit in 2019 alleging that the singer coerced her into a sexual relationship when she was 16 years old, promising that she could be in a music video and repeatedly had sex with her while she was a minor.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Williams was first in line to receive money from Kelly’s Sony Music royalty account ahead of Midwest Commercial Funding, a property manager that won a separate $3.5 million ruling against Kelly over unpaid rent for a Chicago studio.
R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June 2022 for federal sex trafficking charges. In the fall of 2022 Kelley was found guilty on six counts of federal child pornography charges.
According to the United States Sentencing Commission, people convicted of federal child pornography charges received an average sentence of 23 years in prison in 2019.
“I’ve never in my career seen such a flouting of the rules to deny him even the opportunity to defend these civil cases, even when the courts were fully aware that Kelly was incarcerated, unrepresented at points, and facing multiple criminal indictments,” Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean said. “Indeed, much of these civil proceedings occurred without Kelly’s knowledge.”