Officials from Dubai’s government strongly denied any claims by R. Kelly that the artist had offers or planned concerts scheduled in the sheikdom after he had sought permission from an Illinois judge to travel there “for work” while facing sexual-abuse charges here.
In an unusually rare statement, the government’s Dubai Media office also addressed and denied claims made by Kelly’s attorney in court that the singer had plans to meet with the ruling Al Maktoum family.
“Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked,” the statement said.
According to the Associated Press, the statement also added that Kelly “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance.”
In a court filing last week, Kelly’s lawyer Steven A. Greenberg said that the singer needed to make a living and raise money as “he has struggled of late to pay his child support and other child-related expenses.”
His lawyer claimed that the singer had contracts signed before he was arrested to perform 3-5 shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019. The filing specifically stated that “He requests permission to travel to Dubai for the shows. While there he is supposed to meet with the royal family.”
The filing did not specifically elaborate on where Kelly was supposed to perform, and for a performance set to happen next month, there said to be no proof of a publicized event featuring R. Kelly.
Dubai is known for its luxury nightclubs that often host hip hop artists for performances days at a time. The super-wealthy families there have also been known to pay celebrities to appear at their private parties.
It is very important to note that the United States does not have an extradition treaty with the UAE.
In an email to The Associated Press, Kelly’s lawyer Steven A. Greenberg responded saying: “Mr. Kelly had a signed contract with a legitimate promoter, and any information that was included in the motion to travel was from that contract. We did not say he was invited by The royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them.”