The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the victim in the R. Kelly harassment case, Heather Williams, would be given first priority at the singer’s royalties to help pay off the massive $4 million (Sh.527million) judgement against him.
Heather Williams filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly in 2019 alleging that the artist lured her into his studio and promised her to be in his music video if she had sex with him in 1998, when she was 16 years old.
She ultimately won the case against the singer and was awarded $4 million, a payment Kelly has yet to pay up.
The court ruled that Heather would be allowed to tap into the royalties Kelly earned through his music distributed at Sony Studios after assessing the singer’s assets.
Heather was given first priority to the royalties because she was the first to properly demand money from the label.
Although the decision gave priority to Heather, it’s unclear whether she’ll enjoy similar priority over additional monetary penalties that Kelly owes to victims as a result of his federal criminal convictions.
Robert Sylvester Kelly was sentenced in June last year to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering. He was then sentenced in February this year to an additional 20 years for child pornography.
BY NKATHA WAINAINA