Jail has been a rough experience for R. Kelly. The singer’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, spoke out on behalf of his client to share just how “miserable” Kelly is feeling behind bars. In an interview with theChicago Sun-Times, Greenberg said the “soft-spoken” Kelly who is “basically illiterate” has been unable to read fan mail from admirers who have penned letters to lift his spirits.
Kelly—who is currently facing various federal charges in a number of states including sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and child pornography—is reportedly at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago where he spends his time in solitary confinement with no amenities. The singer is without television, books, radio, or music.
“I’ve seen him get very emotional,” Greenberg said. “He’s dealing with a lot of stories that have been made up. He’s not a fighter. I’ve seen him cry when he talks about the situation.” He added, “He’s also a spiritual guy, has a Bible with him in his cell, but he can’t read it. It’s basically there for comfort. Now he’s been placed in the MCC’s ‘SHU’ — a cell in solitary confinement away from the jail population and is constantly being moved from cell to cell. He has only the guards to talk to.”
“But he is receiving plenty of mail, which is 97% positive and he pores over it,” Greenberg stated. “And, I swear, every time I visit him, he’s dressed in a different colored jail suit.” The attorney said that there are a few words that Kelly knows and others he eventually recognizes by sounding them out aloud while reading his messages.
Greenberg said that only one of Kelly’s two girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, have come to visit him. However, Greenberg shared that he didn’t know which of the women has chatted with Kelly. The singer’s team did petition the court to give Kelly access to some sort of computer system so that he could work on creating music while in jail, but Greenberg told the Sun-Times that they’ve given up on that request for the time being. “He’s got a new album he needs to release, but it’s backed up into the cloud now. But he needs to get that album out. People are waiting for it.”