Judge Orders Most of R. Kelly Royalties Go to Victims

(RightWing.org) – Singer-songwriter Robert Sylvester Kelly, known professionally as R. Kelly, used his fame to connect with underage fans. In 2022 and 2023, federal prosecutors successfully prosecuted the hip hop and R&B artist for several sex crimes, and he received a combined sentence of 31 years from judges in the Eastern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois. Now, a federal judge has recently ordered a garnishment of some of the musician’s wages toward restitution to his victims.

On October 23, US District Judge Ann Donnelly issued an order of garnishment directing Universal Music Publishing, Inc., to remit the outstanding balance of R. Kelly’s restitution judgment. As of August 15, that figure had reached $506,950.26, with accruing interest.

Universal maintains the royalties account for R. Kelly’s music catalog. The court confirmed the singer had an interest in that account totaling $567,444.19, more than enough to fulfill his obligation to pay the outstanding restitution to his victims in full.

Judge Donnelly gave Universal 10 days from its receipt of a certified copy of her order to send a check to the Clerk of the Court for the Eastern District of New York for the restitution balance in full. She also directed the publishing company to include any accrued interest in its payment.

Universal isn’t the only music royalties company that paid restitution for R. Kelly. Heather Williams, one of his victims, received access to royalties held by Sony Music totaling roughly $1.5 million. She also received $4 million to settle a 2019 lawsuit against the musician for reportedly luring her into his recording studio and repeatedly assaulting her. Williams was only 16 at the time of the purported incident.

  1. Kelly’s music catalog continues to generate royalty income despite the launch of several boycotts. Making matters worse for him, several artists who collaborated with him pulled their music from paid streaming services, diminishing his residual income from those musical works. Ciara, Lady Gaga, and Celine Dion are among the artists who severed themselves from R. Kelly.