Judge Orders Universal Music to Pay Over $500K to the Victims of R. Kelly As Restitution

A judge has ruled that monies owed to R&B singer and songwriter R. Kelly must be turned over to victims who suffered sexual abuse from the jailed singer.

According to Bloomberg, more than $500,000 in royalties owed to R. Kelly is currently being held by Universal Music Group NV and must be distributed to the victims of his crimes. This ruling comes almost a year after United States District Judge Ann Donnelly stated that his jail commissary, which had an amount totaling $27,828, be garnished. The money was to be used to give the victims of his sex trafficking conviction as restitution.

On Wednesday, the judge signed an order telling the Universal Music Group to release the funds to satisfy unpaid restitution and fines that the convicted recording artist still owes. The restitution was ordered by Judge Donnelly when she sentenced Kelly to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sexual exploitation of minors.

Billboard reports that Judge Donnelly signed a so-called “writ of garnishment” directing the record company to hand over $520,549, satisfying the amount Kelly owes. Prosecutors initially wanted to garner the money from UMG and Sony Music Entertainment, but because the restitution amount covers everything, Sony Music was left out.

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, stated that the funds should not taken out of his account and has vowed to seek an appeal. She is confident her client will emerge victorious.

“We maintain that Mr. Kelly’s convictions and the restitution orders were erroneous and the Second Circuit will have the final word on it,” Bonjean said. “I can promise that when the Second Circuit reverses Mr. Kelly’s convictions, we will seek the return of every cent that has been wrongfully taken from him.”

Kelly was convicted on eight counts of sex trafficking and racketeering on Sept. 27, 2021. Judge Donnelly sentenced him to 30 years on June 29, 2022.