R. Kelly Taken Off Suicide Watch After Feds Reverse Decision

R. Kelly makes a court appearance. (Credit: YouTube/CBSN)

R. Kelly has been taken off suicide watch at a federal detention center in New York, prosecutors said Tuesday.

“Following a clinical assessment, plaintiff Robert Sylvester Kelly, also known as ‘R. Kelly,’ was removed from suicide watch as of this morning,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Speight wrote in a Brooklyn Federal Court filing obtained by the New York Daily News.

Kelly, 55, was placed on suicide watch at Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn following his sentencing on June 29, to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse. He was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

The decision to change his housing status came after his lawyer filed a complaint saying the convicted R&B singer had been placed on around-the-clock surveillance for no reason.

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On Friday, the Grammy-winning singer’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean filed a lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order, saying Kelly was “mentally fine” and had only been subjected to intense safety monitoring because of his fame.

“Mr. Kelly was placed on suicide watch for purely punitive reasons in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. MDC has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not,” Bonjean said in a July 1 statement.

Earlier today, Bonjean told the Daily News the feds backtracked just hours before she was scheduled to argue in court that her client’s Eighth Amendment rights were being violated.

“I just spoke to my client. He has been removed from suicide watch just as we were headed to court,” Bonjean said. “Not surprising that as soon as the (Bureau of Prisons) was going to have to account for their decisions, they removed him to moot out the motion. Our lawsuit will proceed nonetheless.”

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On Sept. 27, 2021, Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex-trafficking law. Prosecutors said he was the ringleader of a scheme that recruited women and underage girls for sex and transported them across state lines. Kelly has denied wrongdoing and plans to appeal his conviction.

The musician, who calls himself the “Pied Piper,” was previously indicted on 13 counts of child pornography, but was acquitted of all charges in 2008.

The allegations against him received renewed attention when Lifetime aired its 2019 docuseries Surviving R. Kelly and the follow-up, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.