Judge orders R Kelly's record company to send his royalties to victims

Robert Kelly, the music star it took decades to convict of crimes despite being filmed abusing one minor, marrying other and flagrantly sex trafficking more from abroad, will be forced to pay restitution to his victims–or, at least, his record company will, out of the disgraced R&B singer's ongoing royalties.

Judge Ann Donnelly signed a so-called writ of garnishment directing UMG to hand over $520,549 in his publishing royalties to pay restitution and criminal fines. …

The label, which held more than $1.5 million in Kelly royalties as of 2020, is facing other demands to access that money – to an abuse victim who won a $4 million civil judgment, as well as a Chicago landlord that's owed $3.5 million.

Federal prosecutors in Chicago, who won a separate conviction against Kelly on child pornography charges, could also seek to collect money, either from Sony or from the remaining funds in UMG's account. Kelly owes more than $42,000 in fines and restitution in that case.

It's evident, all the same, that there's still a big legal machine dedicated to shielding R Kelly's and UMG's ongoing income from garnishment or other payouts. So I'd recommend against doing anything to support either, given the limited extent of this award and the ambiguity over how much more is to come. Kelly is appealing his convictions.