R. Kelly has gained a legal victory as he’s now been taken off suicide watch at the detention center he’s now in after filing a lawsuit against the federal government.
R. Kelly Said To Be In “Fine Spirits”
According to reports, the disgraced singer was placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after receiving a sentence of 30 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, racketeering, and sex trafficking last Wednesday (June 29th), which was handed down by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly. The move prompted Kelly and his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean to protest and file a lawsuit. “R. Kelly is not suicidal. He was in fine spirits after his sentencing hearing and ready to fight his appeal. Placing him on suicide watch was punitive conduct by the Bureau of Prisons.”, she wrote in a tweet last Friday (July 1st).
The lawsuit sought “compensatory damages for all emotional distress, humiliation, pain, and suffering, and other harm in an amount to be determined at trial.” The amount sought was $100 million. It alleged that high-profile individuals like Kelly and recently convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell are placed on suicide watch routinely at the MDC needlessly, incurring violations of their Eighth Amendment rights. “Mr. Kelly impressed upon me repeatedly that he was not suicidal and the conditions of suicide watch at the MDC were extraordinarily stressful and harmful,” Bonjean wrote in the affidavit. “He expressed on multiple occasions that he did not want to be put on suicide watch and that he was not suicidal and had no thoughts of harming himself or anyone else.”
MDC Warden Heriberto H. Tellez made the decision to remove Kelly from suicide watch on Tuesday (July 5th) after a “clinical assessment.” This move was confirmed in a letter to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Speight, which argued that Kelly’s motion in the lawsuit for a temporary restraining order and the preliminary injunction should be rejected after that action was taken. The letter also notes that Kelly’s upcoming trial in Illinois is another reason the court should refrain from being further involved with the lawsuit. “Indeed, upon information and belief, Plaintiff will soon be transferred out of MDC to stand trial in the Northern District of Illinois,” the letter stated. “To the extent Plaintiff is ever placed back onto suicide watch, such a placement would be separate and apart from plaintiff’s instant motion.” Bonjean claimed that the government’s move is “more evidence of their malice”.