R. Kelly has just ignited another fire.
The 52-year-old hit-making singer and producer, who is reportedly under investigation in the state of Georgia for sexual and physical abuse, is in jeopardy of losing his 8,000-square-foot music studio in an industrial property on the West Side of Chicago if he does not pay the thousands of dollars in rent that he owes within the next two weeks, according to the Blast.
Alleging that he missed two balloon payments and failed to pay his monthly rent, the owner of the building, Midwest Commercial Funding, filed an eviction lawsuit against him in July for breaking his contract, which guaranteed a 10-year lease at a monthly rate of $22,927.41. Kelly reportedly owes the company over $80,000 in arrears, the site reports.
The property, which is currently listed for sale at $3.9 million, was featured on Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly as being a so-called “sex dungeon” and living quarters for young girls in what they referred to as a sex cult.
TMZ reports that cops visited the vacant recording studio on Tuesday to survey the vicinity after it gained publicity on the show.
Surviving R. Kelly — which aired on Lifetime from Thursday, Jan. 3 to Saturday, Jan. 5 — features wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and young girls.
The New York Times reports that investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia contacted Gerald A. Griggs, the lawyer for Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage, on Monday. Timothy and Jonjelyn claim the singer is holding their daughter, Joycelyn Savage, against her will. The couple was interviewed in the docuseries, along with numerous other women.
“We hope that it will turn into a fruitful investigation and it will result in the return of Joycelyn Savage to her family or, at the very least, that she start opening continuous conversations and interactions with her family like she had before she met Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly,” Griggs told PEOPLE on Wednesday.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has declined PEOPLE’s request to comment, as did the Atlanta and John’s Creek police departments.
TMZ also reported that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into the allegations made in the docuseries, adding that investigators reached out to Asante McGee, who spoke to PEOPLE about her experience escaping from Kelly’s residence.
However, a representative for McGee has denied that she has been contacted by authorities.
While no charges have currently been brought in Kelly’s other residence of Chicago, Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx held a press conference on Tuesday to encourage any victims to “please come forward.”
“If we are going to take these allegations seriously — it isn’t one of those situations where it’s just forensics, we need actual witnesses and victims to have the courage to tell their stories,” she said. “We cannot do anything related to these allegations without the cooperation of victims and witnesses.”
In 2008, a Cook County jury found Kelly not guilty on 14 counts of child pornography charges.
Foxx added that her office is talking to two families whose loved ones had been in contact with Kelly.
“I was sickened. I was sickened by the allegations, I was sickened as a survivor, I was sickened as a mother, I’m sickened as a prosecutor,” she said of the docuseries. “I’ve worked in this office for a number of years including in 2008, and so the allegations were not new to me, but I think listening to survivors and giving the platform for survivors to tell their stories was heartbreaking.”
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.
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