Just weeks after R. Kelly’s accuser won a default judgment in her criminal complaint against the singer, a judge has decided to vacate the original ruling, giving Kelly one last chance to defend himself.
Late last month, a judge ruled in favor of the victim, Heather Williams, after Kelly failed to respond to her complaint. In the civil suit, which was filed two months prior, the woman claimed Kelly sexually abused her as a teen for about a year and demanded $50,000 in damages.
In turn, Kelly’s legal team argued that since Kelly was served while he was in jail, stress and illiteracy stalled his response.
“[Being overwhelmed] coupled with Mr. Kelly not being cognizant of what the motion fully meant led him to miss the hearing,” Kelly’s civil attorney told TMZ at the time. “I had no idea he had been served.”
Now, in light of the explanation, a judge has ruled to overturn the initial decision, allowing Kelly and his legal team to continue their fight against the allegations.
“We’ve never been part of a criminal case where an alleged victim has filed a civil case during a criminal proceeding,” Kelly’s attorneys said, referring to Williams’ decision to file after Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of sexual abuse. However, despite the irregular occurrence, Kelly’s team says the new decision is “a big win for Mr. Kelly.”