R. Kelly’s former manager, Donnell Russell, is currently in talks of a plea deal for stalking an anonymous “Jane Doe” victim in Kelly’s sexual abuse case.
Nadia Shihata, an Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, revealed that Russell was currently in talks of a plea deal during Friday’s court hearing. This will likely result in Russell avoiding a criminal trial.
“We will be sending a proposed plea agreement to the defendant this coming Monday,” Shihata confirmed.
According to the indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York, Russell faces one count of interstate stalking for allegedly contacting Kelly’s victim “with the intent to harass and intimidate” both her and her family. He pleaded guilty in October. The 45-year-old Kelly confidant was also charged with threatening physical harm by interstate communication and conspiracy to threaten physical harm in the Southern District of New York. According to court documents, Russell called a Manhattan theater and falsely claimed that an armed person was inside and prepared to begin shooting those in attendance at the December 4th, 2018 screening of “Surviving R. Kelly.” He has not yet pleaded guilty to those charges.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, maintains that Russell’s crimes are not connected to his former boss in any way.
“He’s charged with crimes that Kelly was not in any way involved in. If he chooses to plead guilty for his own actions, that’s between the government and his own lawyers,” Greenberg said to CNN. However, he did acknowledge that there is a chance that Russell may mention Kelly in some way to alleviate himself from further legal trouble.
“Anytime someone is charged in a criminal case there’s always the risk that they’re going to make something up to get themselves out of trouble. I can’t control that.”
R. Kelly is being held in a Chicago federal prison where he is waiting to face child pornography and obstruction charges and aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the state of Illinois. He also faces charges in New York for racketeering and other violations related to sex trafficking. The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer has pleaded not guilty to all charges.