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R. Kelly’s Victim Gets Priority on His Sony Music Royalties

March 28, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to Billboard, Heather Williams, a survivor of R. Kelly not only secured a $4 million judgment against the singer, but the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that she will be given the first opportunity to recover funds from Kelly’s royalty account with Sony Music.

The verdict issued on Thursday, March 23, effectively grants Williams with access to Kelly’s Sony account, which was valued at $1.5 million in 2020. Williams will now have the first chance to collect the funds owed to her, ahead of Midwest Commercial Funding, which is seeking to recover $3.5 million in unpaid rent from Kelly’s use of a Chicago studio.

In 2019, Williams took legal action against Kelly, filing a civil suit that alleged that Kelly exploited her when she was 16. Williams’ suit claimed that Kelly enticed her to his studio with the promise of appearing in a music video, but then proceeded to engage in sexual activity with her on multiple occasions. 

In response to the court’s ruling, Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said, “I’ve never in my career seen such a flouting of the rules to deny him even the opportunity to defend these civil cases, even when the courts were fully aware that Kelly was incarcerated, unrepresented at points, and facing multiple criminal indictments.” “Indeed, much of these civil proceedings occurred without Kelly’s knowledge.”

Disbursement of Kelly’s funds held by Sony has been paused while litigation. Kelly’s attorney tells Billboard that she’s currently seeking to overturn the judgment and admits she’s facing an “uphill battle.”

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