Pictured: a courtroom sketch of R. Kelly, who’s federal trial for sex trafficking charges is set to begin on August 9
A lawyer for R. Kelly has asked a court to provide the disgraced R&B rapper with new clothes because he has gained weight in prison and cannot afford replacements because he is $2million of debt.
The star also claims he cannot afford court transcripts as he prepares for trial, and has requested that the documents be provided to him for free.
The former music superstar, who’s real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is set to begin his federal trial with jury selection in New York for sex trafficking on August 9, Insider reports.
‘As the defense set forth during the conference, Mr. Kelly is financially unable to obtain the transcripts and the transcripts are necessary for his defense,’ Kelly’s attorney, Calvin Scholar, wrote in a letter to Judge Ann Donnelly,.
Kelly, 54, who was in court Tuesday for a pre-trial, is facing racketeering charges for allegedly running a criminal enterprise in which young women were kidnapped for sex trafficking.
At his peak, R. Kelly was worth upwards of $100 million, but had a net worth of negative $2 million as of last year, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Kelly (left) married fellow musical artist Aaliyah (right) when she was 15 years old
R. Kelly turns to leave after appearing at a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on September 17, 2019
Court transcript filings in New York State cost $25, United Process reports.
His lawyer is specifically asking for free transcripts of the jury selection.
On Thursday, his team also took the opportunity to read the court a letter, where his lawyer asked the judge for a new set of clothes for the singer, who they say has gained a considerable amount of weight since his incarceration.
Donnelly denied their request for new clothing measurements. ‘We need measurements for appropriate attire for his trial,’ his lawyer told the judge.
‘We’re trying to get his measurements. How can we take his size?’
Kelly was moved from Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center to a Brooklyn detention center in late June. Prosecutors filed a motion around the same time the singer was moved claiming he also sexually abused a boy he met at a McDonald’s and bribed officials involved in the case.
Musical artist R. Kelly appears before Judge Ann Donnelly with his legal team sex trafficking allegations in Brooklyn federal court in New York on Tuesday
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22
The R&B singer said via his lawyer during his pre-trial hearing on Tuesday that he had ‘sexual contact’ with Aaliyah when she was 15 years old, before walking those assertions back.
Federal prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes asked: ‘Are they not going to dispute that at the time Jane Doe 1 was 13 to 15 years old?’
‘We do dispute. We’re not prepared to concede that right now,’ Farinella said.
The Daily News noted that it was not clear if Farinella was referring to Aaliyah’s age or whether the two had a sexual relationship.
Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash back in 2001 at the age of 22, was introduced to Kelly by her uncle Barry Hankerson – a record producer and manager who represented him.
Kelly and Aaliyah had a quiet friendship and were married in secret in 1994 when he was 27 and she was still underage.
Among other allegations, the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer also was accused of bribing an official in Illinois in 1994 to issue an illegal wedding certificate that said Aaliyah was 18 years old when she was really 15.
Opening statements for Kelly’s federal trial are set for August 18.
Meanwhile, recording artist Drake, a huge Aaliyah fan, announced that he is working on a posthumous album of her music, and he’s already released the song “Enough Said” featuring himself and the singer.