A judge has ruled that R&B singer R. Kelly‘s remaining royalties cover the half a million dollars owed to his sexual assault victims.
According to Vibe, the Chicago native’s music catalog’s royalties are valued at $567,444.19. The restitution and fines still owed to his victims amounted to $506,950.26. The “I Believe I Can Fly” artist doesn’t have the funds in his name because the money is in Universal Music Group‘s bank account. To ensure the women get paid, Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly signed an order for the record label to release the money to make payments. Before this, she wanted the 56-year-old to give up the $28,000 he had reserved for his prison commissary to help pay his debt.
The fines stem from when the multi-Grammy award winner was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2022 for racketeering and sexual exploitation of young women. In addition to the case, a judge sentenced him to serve 20 years behind bars in a separate trial for his federal child pornography case in his hometown.
Blavity reported that Universal Music Group isn’t the only label ordered to give up royalty money to cover expenses owed to the victims. In March, Heather Williams, who was sexually assaulted by Kelly when she was 16, was allowed to tap into his royalties at Sony Music, $1.5 million and another payment of $4 million from a settlement agreement in 2019.
In December, a new album, I Admit It, was released unknown to Sony Music and Kelly’s attorney but was quickly removed. The record label and his legal team claimed they didn’t know how his new music was shared with the public.
Despite some former fans boycotting his music, Kelly’s discography still makes money from listeners on streaming platforms.
He is at Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina, ABC11 reported.