R Kelly’s legal woes have reportedly reached a federal level.
In response to the rampant allegations of the singer’s sexual misconduct, a state police investigation has been launched in Georgia, and another could soon follow in Illinois. Now, TMZ is reporting that the FBI is also looking into Kelly — specifically as to whether he transported a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex.
Azriel Clary, one of Kelly’s alleged victims featured in the Lifetime series Surviving R Kelly, was reportedly flown from Palm Springs to Phoenix to Orlando in May 2015. At the time, she was only 17 years old. Clary’s family says the flights were arranged by Kelly’s personal assistant. The family has not heard from Clary since 2016 and believe she may be Kelly’s “sex slave.”
If the allegations are true, Kelly would be in violation of the Mann Act — the federal law that makes it illegal to transport a minor across state lines for purposes of sex, debauchery or prostitution. Punishment for such a crime is up to 10 years in a federal prison.
R. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, denied to TMZ that Kelly violated the law and said he was unaware of any investigation. Representatives for the singer also point to a handwritten note from Clary’s mother in which she gave Kelly’s assistant consent to care for her daughter.
The FBI has also been in touch with the family of Jocelyn Savage, another one of Kelly’s alleged sex slaves, TMZ reports.
Since the airing of Surviving R Kelly, there’s been renewed scrutiny over Kelly’s alleged misconduct. While his attorneys maintain that the singer is innocent of all allegations, Kelly himself has ben hiding out in Chicago’s Trump Tower and was recently admitted to the hospital with panic attacks. He’s also been dropped by his longtime record label, and his manager was arrested for making terroristic threats against Kelly’s accusers.