R. Kelly reportedly plans to fight a default judgment awarded to one of his sex assault accusers this week by claiming he was simply “overwhelmed” and didn’t know he owed her a response.
The singer’s lawyer says Kelly had no idea what he was reading when deputies served him with paperwork from accuser Heather Williams while he was behind bars last month for being a deadbeat dad, according to TMZ.com.
“R. Kelly was served while incarcerated on the child support case and he was overwhelmed by the experience of being in jail,” Kelly’s lawyer Brian Nix told the website.
“(Being overwhelmed) coupled with Mr. Kelly not being cognizant of what the motion fully meant led to him missing the hearing. I had no idea he had been served,” Nix said.
Kelly’s alleged confusion led to his defeat in a Chicago courtroom Tuesday because he was a no-show in the case.
The judge granted Williams her victory by default and set a damages hearing for May 8.
Williams’ lawyer Jeffrey Deutschman told the Daily News his client is “ready, willing and able” to appear next month and describe her injuries to the court.
Nix said he’s now trying to get the default set aside so they can fight Williams’ claims Kelly repeatedly molested her as a teen.
Williams, now 36, claims she was 16 in May 1998 when Kelly approached her on a street and asked if she wanted to appear in a music video.
According to her lawsuit filed Feb. 21 in Cook County Circuit Court, Williams says Kelly’s predatory abuse started within a month of their first meeting and continued for years, causing her great “psychological distress” and depression.
The lawsuit calls for a minimum of $50,000 in damages.
“We don’t care about the lawsuit. The lawsuit means nothing to us,” Kelly’s publicist reportedly told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this week.
Deutschman confirmed to The News that Williams, a resident of Michigan, is the victim identified as “H.W.” in the criminal complaint filed against Kelly by Chicago prosecutors in February.
Kelly, 52, has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sex abuse involving four victims – three of them underage at the time of the alleged crimes.
Prosecutors say Kelly “knowingly committed an act of sexual penetration” upon the victim identified as “H.W.”