R. Kelly‘s lawyers claim the embattled singer had valid reasons for not showing up to face one of the accusers in his alleged criminal sexual abuse case.
The “Ignition” hitmaker was served in his civil case — in which Heather Williams alleges he sexually abused her when she was 16 — after Williams won a default judgment against Kelly when he failed to appear for a hearing in the case earlier this week.
And now, Kelly’s lawyers, Zaid Abdallah and Raed Shalabi, have claimed that he had no idea what the serving papers were about and therefore didn’t take the appropriate steps to defend himself because of a learning disability that prevents him from being able to read.
According to TMZ, documents filed by Abdallah and Shalabi read: “[Kelly] suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read. In essence, he cannot.”
The attorneys are also claiming Kelly should not have been served the papers at all, as he was in Cook County Jail at the time for failing to pay child support to his ex-wife Andrea Lee.
Kelly’s team is asking the courts to vacate the decision so the star can properly mount his defense this time around.
The latest claim against Kelly came after he was faced with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse when four women accused him of sexually abusing them, three of whom claim they were underage at the time of the alleged incidents.
Kelly previously denied all charges against him during an interview in March, before he became emotional and claimed his critics are “trying to kill” him.
He said: “Quit playing, I didn’t do this stuff.
“This is not me. I’m fighting for my f—ing life! Y’all killing me with this s—! I’ve given you 30 years of my f—ing career! Thirty years of my career! Y’all trying to kill me! You’re killing me man!
“This is not about music! I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids and I can’t do it! Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth. Y’all don’t want to believe it. This is not true! It doesn’t even make sense! Why would I hold all these women! Their mothers and fathers told me, ‘We’re going to destroy your career.'”