After days of having R. KellyOn federal charges of sex trafficking, the singer’s lawyers are suing the federal prison in which he resides, alleging that the facility illegally keeps him in a state of suicide as a form of punishment. Lawyers claim that there is no reason for the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to put the 55-year-old Kelly into a state of suicide, and that doing so causes “real and lasting harm” to the singer.
Court documents claim that before and after the sentencing, the singer was mentally stable and did not show any signs of behavior that would justify placing him in a state of suicide.
“Mr. Kelly has repeatedly impressed me that he had no suicidal tendencies and that the conditions for suicide monitoring at the MDC center were extraordinarily stressful and harmful,” his attorney wrote in an accompanying affidavit. “He has expressed on numerous occasions that he does not wish to be suicidal and that he has no suicidal tendencies and has no thought of harming himself or anyone else.”
The documents said that to ensure he was not sent to a suicide control center, Kelly’s lawyers told him to email them as soon as he returned to the cell after sentencing. Lawyers said that when they did not receive an email, they repeatedly tried to contact the prison – but were not able to get an update on Kelly’s location until two days later, when the attorney general confirmed he had been placed on suicide watch.
The attorney general allegedly told Kelly’s legal team that MDC’s legal team said he was transferred “for various reasons, such as age, crime, publicity and judgment.”
“This interpretation indicates that the reasons for placing Mr. Kelly in a state of suicide have nothing to do with him as an individual or even whether he actually posed a suicide risk,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged that Kelly was placed on probation for “purely punitive reasons”. She further alleged that MDC facilities follow a “policy of placing high-profile individuals under harsh conditions to monitor suicide, whether they are suicide bombers or not,” noting that Ghislaine Maxwell’s legal teamSimilar allegations.
While lawyers have noted that suicide monitoring may be appropriate for those contemplating suicide, she said the conditions are harsh and unconstitutional for people who are not at risk of suicide. The documents state that while observing suicide, inmates are made to wear “a garment made of a material resembling the material that moving companies use when packing furniture”, cannot shower or shave, are forced to eat food with their hands and no access to beds or other support systems are allowed.
“Mr. Kelly is currently being held unlawfully, in violation of Eighth Amendment safeguards, under harsh conditions of observing suicide for no reason other than his status as a prominent prisoner,” the documents said. “The conditions under which he is currently being held are causing real and lasting harm to Mr. Kelly.”
The Metropolitan Corrections Department directed CBS News to the Federal Bureau of Prisons when it was reached for comment. The bureau declined to comment on the case or provide information on Kelly’s website, citing safety and security reasons, but it did. Link to its policy To place inmates on suicide watch.
“The BOP is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all our residents, staff, and the public,” the office told CBS News. “Humane treatment of the men and women in our custody is a top priority.”