R. Kelly loses lawsuit in sex abuse case after failing to appear in court

R. Kelly arrives for a hearing in his child support case in Chicago on March 6.
(Matt Marton / Associated Press)

R. Kelly failed to appear in Cook County court in Illinois to answer to a civil lawsuit alleging he sexually abused an underage woman in the ’90s. On Tuesday, the judge in the suit declared a default judgment against Kelly.

Lawyers for the woman, known in court documents as H.W., confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that she is one of the accusers in the ongoing criminal case against Kelly alleging 10 sexual abuse charges involving four women, three of whom were underage at the time.

The woman filed the civil suit in February, alleging that Kelly sexually abused her from the time she was 16 in 1998. Kelly was served a summons in Cook County jail, as he was being held on charges of failing to pay over $160,000 in back child support.


Neither Kelly nor his attorneys filed an appearance to respond. Judge Moira Johnson granted H.W. a default judgment against Kelly on Tuesday morning. Kelly and his civil litigation attorney, Brian Nix, also skipped a hearing on Wednesday, where Judge Johnson could have vacated her ruling if they had appeared.

No damages were levied yet, but H.W. will speak at a hearing with Judge Johnson next month to detail Kelly’s alleged abuse. The plaintiff is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

The Chicago Sun-Times reached Kelly’s publicist, Darrell Johnson, who said “We don’t care about the lawsuit. The lawsuit means nothing to us.”

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