R. Kelly owes $200K in unpaid rent, damages to Near West Side studio, lawsuit claims

CHICAGO -- R. Kelly, the R&B singer who faces federal charges in multiple states for alleged child prostitution and pornography, still owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the owner of his former Near West Side recording studio, according to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 7 in Cook County circuit court, claims Kelly owes more than $201,178 in rent and other charges to the property owner, Midwest Commercial Funding. The rent is continuing to accrue.

The owners sued Kelly in January for more than $173,000 in back rent for the property, located at 219 N. Justine. City building inspectors then visited the warehouse and noted 66 building code violations.

Kelly, 52, had defaulted on the lease by failing to pay rent and was forced to move out in January.

RELATED: R. Kelly facing new underage prostitution charges in Minnesota, prosecutors say

Kelly also owes money for alleged repairs and renovations he undertook without securing the proper building permits, according to the suit. The building's owner says Kelly owes at least $50,000 for those repairs.

A court date has been set for Oct. 1 before Judge Margaret A. Brennan, according to county records.

R. Kelly's attorneys couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, Kelly was charged with two federal counts of underage prostitution in Minnesota. The alleged victim met Kelly in July 2001 when the singer was signing autographs in Minneapolis.

In July, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago charged him with nine counts of enticing a minor, three counts of child pornography and one count of obstruction of justice.

In Brooklyn, federal prosecutors have charged Kelly and two associates with acting as a criminal enterprise to "promote R. Kelly's music and the R. Kelly brand and to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly."

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2019.)

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