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He believes he can fly: Alleged sex offender R Kelly seeks to please Dubai crowds Open in fullscreen

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He believes he can fly: Alleged sex offender R Kelly seeks to please Dubai crowds

The R&B superstar is due to perform up to five concerts in Dubai. [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 March, 2019

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The R&B superstar, facing legal accusations of child sexual abuse, is due to perform up to five concerts in Dubai in April.
Controversial musician R Kelly is seeking permission to travel to Dubai to perform a series of concerts - while a scandal over wide-ranging sex abuse allegations rages in the United States.

The R&B superstar, who is facing several legal accusations of sexual abuse, is due to perform up to five concerts in the United Arab Emirates between April 17 and 19.

Kelly was briefly taken into custody earlier this month after failing to pay more than $160,000 in child support and was required to surrender his passport.

His lawyer will file a motion this week requesting permission to fly to Dubai on a private jet, arguing that he needs to work to "pay his day-to-day living expenses", according to US media.

The concerts have not been promoted online and were reportedly booked before his court case began. It is not clear who scheduled the concerts or where they will take place.

Dubai has positioned itself as a luxury destination for the rich and famous; an autocratic refuge from the norms of democratic civic life.

In February, R Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them children.

Read more: Is R Kelly a human trafficker?

The artist stood in a Chicago courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit as his lawyer entered the plea, days after Kelly, 52, turned himself in and was arrested.

His arrest came after a documentary series renewed attention on decades of accusations against the performer, including child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.

After a dramatic trial he was acquitted in 2008 of charges of child pornography, also in Chicago.
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