Embattled R. Kelly walked free from jail on Monday evening after raising $100,000 (£76,200) bail.
The R&B star spent the weekend behind bars awaiting a court hearing on Monday, during which he pleaded not guilty to 10 felony aggravated sex abuse charges for allegedly assaulting four victims, three of whom were underage.
Kelly surrendered to police officials in Chicago, Illinois on Friday.
He is expected to leave the Cook County Jail on Monday night, but will return to court on 22 March (19).
He faces life in prison if he’s found guilty.
Meanwhile, one of his alleged sex abuse victims has come forward with her story, revealing she finally feels “vindicated” by the new criminal case filed against the singer, 11 years after he was acquitted on child pornography charges.
Kelly’s indictment came weeks after prosecutors began investigating claims made in a damning documentary series, titled Surviving R. Kelly, which aired in January (19) and examined the decades of sexual misconduct accusations made against the musician.
Lisa VanAllen was among the many women to speak out on camera about her alleged encounters with Kelly when she was a teenager – statements she had previously given in court over a decade ago, when she served as the main witness in the prosecution’s 2008 child pornography case.
In the wake of Kelly’s arrest, VanAllen has written an op-ed for The New York Times, detailing her hopes for justice now the public’s opinion about the allegations has changed so drastically. In the article, she recounts the emotional and physical abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of Kelly, who had reportedly started engaging in sexual relations with her when she was 17.
VanAllen was one of the girls featured in the sex tape at the centre of the 2008 trial, but as the only one to testify against the singer, she was subjected to ridicule, with people openly calling her a liar.
She also feared for her safety throughout the case, convinced one of Kelly’s henchmen would try to put a hit on her, while taking the witness stand proved to be “one of the most harrowing experiences” of her life.
The result of that trial left VanAllen feeling helpless, but after she was approached to share her side of the story in the Surviving R. Kelly series, she suddenly “felt believed”, because so many other alleged victims were telling similar tales.
Now, she is optimistic about Kelly facing the music once more, because in the era of the #MeToo campaign against sexual misconduct, it’s clear “things have changed”.
“In the wilderness of 2008, I spoke out to help myself and the young woman on the tape,” she wrote. “A decade later I spoke out in Surviving R. Kelly to help anyone who has been affected by abuse. But neither when I was a broken teenager susceptible to a wily predator, nor when I was a young woman who found the courage to tell the truth to a jury, could I have known this season of vindication would come. Not for a young, struggling, black girl victim like me.
“It’s been a long time coming, but here we are…”
She added, “More than 10 years after I nervously faced Rob in court, I know one thing: This will not end the way it did before. It cannot.”