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Friend of R. Kelly’s gets 20 months for harassment of singer’s victims

November 22, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — One of the disgraced singer R. Kelly’s friends will be joining him in prison for a short period of time after he was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Thursday for his participation in the harassment of one of the singer’s victims and her month.

Justice Ann Donnelly, from the Eastern District of New York, sentenced 47-year-old Donnell Russell, of Chicago, Illinois, to 20 months in prison on Tuesday for his participation in a scheme to harass, intimidate, and cause substantial emotional distress to Jane Doe and her mother.

Jane Doe was a victim in the EDNY racketeering case against Robert Sylvester Kelly, also known as R. Kelly. Russell, who referred to himself as a manager, advisor, and friend of R. Kelly’s, harassed and threatened Jane Doe and her mother after Doe filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly and didn’t let up until after it was clear that Jane Doe was a victim in Kelly’s criminal case and would likely testify.

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“For more than a year, the defendant engaged in a vicious campaign to harass, humiliate and threaten the victim in order to force her to dismiss her lawsuit against R. Kelly and stop speaking publicly about him,” stated U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.

As was proven in court, Russell had threatened to reveal sexually explicit photos of Jane Doe if she did not withdraw her lawsuit against R. Kelly. In November 2018, Russell caused a letter purported to be written by R. Kelly to Jane Doe’s lawyer at the time with a cropped nude photo and the caption, “the next two pictures have been cropped for the sake of not exposing her extremities to the world, yet!!!”

Russell created the Facebook Page named “Surviving Lies” on January 6, 2019 following the release of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary. The Facebook Page contained text messages with sexually explicit photos of Jane Doe.


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