R. Kelly must pay nearly $200K in back child support by March 6, or go to jail

R Kelly thegrio
Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File

R. Kelly was arrested on charges of alleged sexual assault this week, but a Cook County judge found the R&B singer in contempt of court earlier this month for failing to pay back child support to his ex-wife and gave him a March 6 deadline to satisfy the debt.

According to TMZ, Kelly owes ex-wife, Drea Kelly, $194,045 in back child support, interest, education, and health care costs, which were broken down in court documents as $20,833 per month, as of January 2009. The singer has reportedly gotten off schedule in the past year.

The court set the March deadline for Kelly to rectify the matter or face getting locked up in County Jail.

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Kelly has been estranged from his three kids – something that he blames on his ex-wife. TMZ sources tell the news outlet that Kelly loves and misses his kids, but has no relationship with them and hasn’t seen them in a while.

Still, sources close to R. Kelly tell TMZ that he is not upset with his daughter Joann Lee Kelly for breaking her silence and calling him a “monster,” in an interview following the release of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, because he thinks his daughter and other kids are being brainwashed by Drea to hate him.

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In 2015, Kelly and Joann, who is a talented singer, paired up for a musical collaboration, but Kelly has alleged that Drea drove a wedge between them after that. According to TMZ in a report last month, Drea took her kids to an R. Kelly concert in Atlanta a couple years ago, but since then, he’s had little contact with them.

Drea added to TMZ that she’s now open to Kelly reaching out to the kids because they’re all adults now and free to make their own choices.