Man who self-identified as R. Kelly’s manager pleads guilty to stalking victim

A Chicago man who described himself as R. Kelly’s manager and adviser pleaded guilty Tuesday to pursuing one of the imprisoned singer’s victims, federal prosecutors in New York City said.

Donnell Russell pleaded guilty to a count of interstate stalking, U.S. Attorneys in Brooklyn said expression.

Kelly, known for hits like “I Believe I Can Fly,” is serving a 30-year sentence after being found guilty of all charges in a sex trafficking trial last year.

As of 2018, Russell was attempting to intimidate one of the victims in that criminal case, which also sued Kelly, prosecutors said.

Russell threatened to release sexually explicit photos of the victim if she didn’t drop the lawsuit, and he later showed the photos on a Facebook page and in livestreamed video interviews, US prosecutors said.

According to US prosecutors, the stalking charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The US Attorney’s Office statement said Russell is a self-proclaimed manager, advisor and friend of the singer. An attorney for Kelly denied that Russell ever played such a role.

“Don Russell was never Mr. Kelly’s manager or advisor, and he is certainly no friend of Mr. Kelly,” Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said in an email Tuesday night.

Attorneys listed as representing Russell did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

On Friday, a jury convicted Russell in a separate federal trial alleging that he made telephone threats to a Manhattan theater planning to show the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly in late 2018, court filings show.

The caller said someone had a gun and was about to shoot the theater and it was evacuated. The documentary series premiered on Lifetime in January 2019.

Kelly, 55, has long been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse. He was charged in 2019 and convicted in June. His trial focused on the allegations of six people.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has denied the allegations. He was convicted of racketeering and breaking the law man lawa law prohibiting the transportation of people across state lines for prostitution or criminal sexual activity. Man who self-identified as R. Kelly’s manager pleads guilty to stalking victim

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