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R. Kelly Says Being Illiterate Allowed ‘Friends’ to Ruin His Credit, Squander his Millions and Leave Him Just $300K In the Bank

Disgraced R&B trailblazer R.Kelly has been crying broke, and now he’s revealed he had only $300,000 left from his multimillions. The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer, sentenced on June 29 to 30 years for sex trafficking, claims that his friends have been stealing from him.

R. Kelly pleads not guilty to a new indictment before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on June 6, 2019. – R&B star R. Kelly pleaded not guilty Thursday in a Chicago courtroom to 11 new felony sex crime charges. The charges were a refiling of one of the four cases of alleged abuse that prosecutors lodged against the singer earlier this year. (Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read E. JASON WAMBSGANS/AFP via Getty Images)

At one point in his career, Kelly said he had a fortune of $900 million. Celebrity Net Worth, however, estimates that at his peak, Kelly’s fortune was more like $100 million, based mainly on his numerous hit songs, touring, and his songwriting royalties. 

Radar reports it obtained a report submitted to the court by Kelly’s legal team. The report includes observations from doctors who had met with Kelly. The purpose of the report was to convince the judge to be lenient in his sentencing of Kelly. The report did not work, but it nonetheless provided insight into Kelly’s wealth.

The singer spoke with the doctors about his illiteracy and how, because of it, others were able to take advantage of him. He included people who handled his finances. 

One doctor who tested Kelly said the singer “had significant impairments in all areas of academic functioning, placing him in the bottom first to third percentiles and at the early elementary school level (i.e., first and third grade).”

Due to these “impairments,” Kelly complained of people taking advantage of him financially, including an ex-manager who said he was investing Kelly’s money into various business ventures such as a recording studio, a cigar bar, and a keyboard branded with Kelly’s name. None of these ventures materialized.

According to Radar, the manager allegedly instead rented a studio and launched his own restaurant in Chicago. The court report also spoke of Kelly being kidnapped in Nigeria and held for ransom, but the information about this situation was severely redacted.

The report also details how Kelly found out his money had dwindled. Two months before his arrest, Kelly went to a bank to withdraw money. That was when he said he learned he had bad credit and only $300,000 left in the bank.

“He took out $10,000 for the first time in his life, and his account was frozen a month later,” the doctor wrote in the report.

Prosecutors, however, claimed Kelly had a bank account opened after his arrest with a balance of $1.2 million. They also charged that he diverted his music royalties to the bank account of a childhood friend.

In 2021, Kelly’s net worth was at a negative $2 million due to his almost $1.9 million debt to the IRS as well as other debts.

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