Donnell Russell, the former manager of disgraced musician R. Kelly, has pleaded guilty to the harassment and intimidation of one of his ex-client’s victims.
Per a report in the New York Post, Russell pleaded guilty to the interstate stalking in a Brooklyn federal court earlier this week. The news broke after he was accused of attempting to blackmail one of R. Kelly’s sexual abuse victims by sharing sexually explicit photos of them.
The prosecutors described how Russell had demanded that the victim, who remains unnamed, drop their suit again Kelly, and that they distance themselves from the campaign that has damaged the singer’s public image. If not, he threatened to “reveal her sexual history”.
Just last week, Russell was also convicted of threatening harm by interstate communication after he called in a bomb threat to a New York City club following their screening of the 2018 Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly.
As for the Jane Doe he harassed, from the latter stages of 2018 to February 2020, Russell attempted to force her to back down by sending letters written on the behalf of R. Kelly to the victim’s lawyer with cropped photos of her naked attached.
Russell also personally text the victim threats accompanied by the same photos. It is claimed that he then sent the photos to the victim’s mother, alongside messages such as, “Publishing soon” and “You’ve been warned.”
He even set up a Facebook group denying the claims about R. Kelly made in the Lifetime documentary. Russell faces up to five years in prison and is to be sentenced in November.
As for R. Kelly, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, meaning that the 55-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars. He was convicted on nine counts of varying sex trafficking and racketeering charges.