Brooklyn, NY – R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday (June 29) and promptly put on suicide watch despite his attorney Jennifer Bonjean denying any such notion. As a result, the disgraced singer filed a lawsuit against the federal government, which has reportedly been resolved.
According to newly filed court documents obtained by TMZ, Metropolitan Detention Center Warden Heriberto H. Tellez, one of the defendants in the suit, removed Kelly from suicide watch on Tuesday (July 5) following a “clinical assessment.”
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Shortly after Judge Ann Donnelly handed down the sentence, Kelly claimed he was being subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment” by being placed on suicide watch at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, a violation of his 8th Amendment rights. Kelly was insistent he wasn’t thinking of killing himself, which he told prison officials. He alleged he was only placed under suicide watch because of his celebrity status. The feds initially filed a motion opposing the lawsuit, vowing to clinically further assess Kelly.Bonjean immediately called foul on the move, telling CNN, “The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal is it actually causes more harm. It’s punishment for being high-profile. And it’s horrifying frankly. To put someone under suicide watch under those conditions is cruel and unusual when they don’t need it.”
In another post-sentencing press conference, Bonjean said she planned to appeal, noting the additional Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organization (RICO) act charge was “inappropriate.”
“These were not a RICO act violation,” Bonjean said at the 2:36-minute mark. “These were isolated events that happened many years and the government simply tried to plead around the statute of limitations to bring in a RICO charge, which was inappropriate. All I can tell you is there was no enterprise. There was no enterprise. It was one man with allegations by a number of women, which doesn’t make it an enterprise, and that is why he’s not guilty of racketeering.
Bonjean added she was “excited” about the appeal and “confident” their arguments will persuade the court of appeals.