R. Kelly’s lawyers say he can’t read; judge reinstates civil sex abuse lawsuit

A default judgement against R. Kelly has been withdrawn after his lawyers say the singer didn’t respond to a lawsuit because he’s illiterate. 

Cook County Judge Moira Johnson reinstated the civil sex abuse lawsuit Wednesday after Kelly’s attorneys, Raed Shalabi and Zaid Abdallah, said the embattled singer didn’t respond because he couldn’t read the documents, according to the Associated Press and Chicago Sun-Times.

“The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot,” Shalabi and Abdallah said in an April 26 filing obtained by the Sun-Times.

Shalabi told USA TODAY that Kelly “got served (the paperwork) while he was in jail” in March, adding that the singer, “didn’t know what the documents were.”

Related: R. Kelly lawyer seeks copy of sex video to be used in sex-crimes case

Musician R. Kelly leaves the Daley Center in Chicago on Wednesday after a hearing in his child support case. (Photo: Matt Marton, AP)

“Once we found out there was a judgment against him we filed a motion to vacate right away,” Shalabi added. 

The lawsuit was filed by one of Kelly’s alleged four victims in his criminal sexual abuse case. She has been identified only as “H.W.” 

The victim alleges that she began a sexual relationship with Kelly in 1998, when she was 16. Kelly has denied all allegations. 

Musician R. Kelly, center, leaves the Daley Center after a hearing in his child support case Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo: Matt Marton, AP)

Later in the day, Kelly appeared at a hearing in his child support case, where the singer’s attorney forked over $62,000 to Kelly’s ex-wife to avoid another jail stint. 

A check was handed over for Drea Kelly, the mother of Kelly’s three children, during Wednesday’s hearing in Chicago. The latest payment comes months after Kelly was jailed in March for failure to pay $161,000 in back child support. 

He was released after three days behind bars after someone came forward and paid the the overdue amount.

“He’s not a deadbeat dad,” Kelly’s attorney Lisa Damico told reporters after Wednesday’s hearing, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. “All he wants to do is do right by his kids.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

Related: R. Kelly released from jail; lawyer of sex abuse accusers claims more evidence in case

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