R. Kelly Removed From Suicide Watch Days After Suing Prison

R. Kelly Removed From Suicide Watch Days After Suing Prison

He said he had not been considering self-harm after receiving a 30-year sentence last week

R. Kelly in a suit and sunglasses.

R. Kelly, May 2019 (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

R. Kelly was removed from suicide watch by the Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn this morning (July 5), days after suing the facility, a new court filing shows. Kelly was placed on suicide watch last week after being sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. In his lawsuit, filed Friday, Kelly had denied having thoughts of suicide or self-harm. The facility’s warden, Heriberto H. Tellez, who was named in the suit, authorized the suicide watch to be lifted following a clinical assessment, according to the filing. Kelly’s “emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction is now moot,” the filling states.

Kelly’s suit claimed that he had been placed on suicide watch to punish him for his celebrity status. He said he was made to wear a paper-like smock and was refused utensils to eat. The suit said the conditions were causing Kelly irreparable mental harm, and he sought “compensatory damages for all emotional distress, humiliation, pain and suffering, and other harm in an amount to be determined at trial.” In a memorandum filed on July 2, the defendants—Tellez, MDC Brooklyn, and the U.S. Department of Justice—said a staff psychologist had recommended the suicide watch after carrying out an in-person assessment, adding that Kelly had been allowed some “comfort items and personal effects.”

Kelly’s next trial, for federal child pornography and obstruction charges, begins in Chicago on August 1. He is also facing felony charges for prostitution with a minor in Minnesota.


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