Infamous R&B star R Kelly has left the Chicago jail where he was being held after posting his $100,000 bail, according to a Cook County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.
The singer has been plagued by allegations of sexual assault, rape, child abuse, child pornography and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for decades.
Yesterday, the 52-year-old pleaded not guilty to 10 charges against four women, three of whom were minors at the time of alleged assault. He did not speak to media as he was escorted from jail by his lawyer.
The Ignition singer turned himself in to police on Friday and spent the weekend in a jail cell after denying all allegations against him over the last 30 years.
He has faced claims of sexual abuse for a long time, even appearing on trial in 2008 for child pornography charges but was acquitted.
Cook County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari confirmed on Monday night that R Kelly had raised the $100,000 bail, which was 10 percent of the $1 million bond set by a judge.
It is suspected that he struggled to raise the $100,000 necessary, and that a female "friend" had to assist him.
His court appearance and plea has arrived only weeks after Surviving R Kelly aired on Lifetime; an explosive documentary series about the allegations of continuous assault from dozens of women, including his former wife.
He is currently being tried for sexual assaults which apparently happened from 1998 onwards. He met one of the four women on her 16th birthday at a restaurant, and another 16-year-old when she asked for his autograph.
Robert Sylvester Kelly was ordered by the court to hand in his passport, and to have zero contact with anyone under the age of 18. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 22.
The well known high-profile women's rights attorney Gloria Allred claimed in a news conference yesterday that she is now representing over six women who allege that the singer abused them.
Kevin Hart has been forced to defend himself yet again after he sent prayers to Jussie Smollet, the Empire actor who experienced a recent horrific racist and homophobic attack.
The 35-year-old singer and actor was hospitalised after a savage attack in which a noose was put around his neck and bleach was poured on him, with the assailants shouting 'This is MAGA country' in a racially-motivated attack.
The homophobic and racist hate crime sparked anger all over America, with celebrities tweeting their support for the actor. Kevin Hart sent the actor prayers through his social media accounts, with the 39-year-old tweeting;
Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why… https://t.co/G6vCnKPEhf
"Sending prayers your way Jussie Smollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world?"
"Why are we falling in love with hate? God damn it people….Choose love…I repeat…Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother," he concluded.
The tweet sparked yet more backlash online, following the controversy which lead to him stepping down from hosting the 2019 Oscars. A series of homophobic tweets were uncovered from the past, featuring jokes about beating up a gay son.
One social media user responded: "Do you see why the “jokes” weren’t funny now?”, while another replied with one of Kevin’s polarising past tweets reading:
‘”Yo if my son comes home and tries to play with my daughters doll house I’m going to break it over his head and say 'stop that’s gay.'”
Podcaster and writer Ira Madison quote-tweeted Kevin’s tweet about Jussie and wrote: "Your funniest joke congrats." This was the final straw for Hart, who responded with a tweet of his own.
I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heart felt support and u take the time to harp on my 10yr past that I have apologized about and moved on from by being a better person. Do you want change? If so I am an example of what u want people to do…CHANGE! https://t.co/Ybbo8OYKTt
"I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heart felt support and u take the time to harp on my ten year past that I have apologised about and moved on from by being a better person. Do you want change? If so I am an example of what u want people to do…CHANGE!" he wrote.
Ira replied, saying;
"I 'harp' because my community of black queer people face violence 365 days in America and when we tried to tell you that we weren’t trolling you but wanted to educate how your jokes lead to actions like what happened to Jussie, you went on Ellen to talk about your wheelchair movie."
Fans of Kevin Hart chose to defend him, saying that he has shown remorse for his past actions and praising him for his support of Jussie.
Hart refused to host the Oscars after the controversy, and Ellen DeGeneres gave him a platform to speak about his past homophobic actions.
The Chicago Police Department have just released CCTV images of two persons of interest in the Smollett case. Nine days ago, he was sent a letter in the post to Fox Studios which read: ‘You will die black f*ggot".
He has received negative attention from racist and homophobic people in America as a result of his role in Empire, where he portrays a rising gay, black singer in the music industry.
She spoke about the controversial hip-hop star's antics very openly;
“When he gets ramped up, he can’t control what he says — he can’t let it go,” she said. “He loves being ramped up."
He’s like, ‘I feel powerful when I’m ramped up. I don’t want to be so suppressed. Yeah, I say crazy s—, but I’ve always said crazy s—. That’s why I’m Kanye.'”
She insists, however, that his intentions are understandable to her as his wife;
“I always know what Kanye’s intentions are and what he’s trying to say, but I also know that they’re going to write a headline and people are going assume that that’s exactly what you said and what you meant,” she continued.
“He didn’t say slavery is a choice, he was saying, ‘If you’re going to still be enslaved for another 400 years, then that’s some bulls—.’ That, as a wife, is really frustrating to see the media take everything and run with it.”
The timing was extremely unfortunate; Kris Jenner was set to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show, who commented on the whole debacle.
“I just want to make everything better,” said Jenner, 63. “You know me. I want everybody to get along, I want everybody to be happy, I want everybody to understand one another, communicate.”
“Even thought Kanye went on TMZ this morning and made some controversial comments, my loyalty really lies with Kanye,” Jenner continued.
“It’s really my job to be there to support Kanye and be somebody in his life that offers him love and support and not criticism.”
Once the scandal was settled, Kim flew out to Wyoming to support Kanye at his album launch party.
“I am so excited to be in Wyoming for Kanye’s listening party,” she said. “After TMZ, Kanye changed his whole album. I’m just excited so many people came out to support him. … I’m glad that now we can just have fun, listen to the music and have a good time.”
“I obviously support him and will always, but he likes to speak for himself and I like to speak for myself,” she added. “As his wife, I just have to express how I feel and have those private conversations with him and help him better communicate what he has to say.”
Kim had also been working with the White House to attempt to commute 63-year-old Alice Maria Johnson's life sentence for a first time non-violent drug offence.
“My first phone call was to Ivanka [Trump]. I just felt like as a woman she would really feel for this woman the way that I connected with Alice,” Kim said. “She did and she connected me with her husband Jared Kushner, so I actually have a meeting with the president of the United States next week to discuss Alice Johnson.”
According to Kim, it was a "tricky" situation, as she disagrees with Donald Trump's polarising views.
“I’ve been so straightforward with Jared. I have different views, I was at Hillary Clinton fundraisers. So this might not be a popular opinion, but I’ll talk to whoever I need to talk to to get the job done.”
“I know we have one shot to plead our case. Knowing that someone’s life is in your hand, it’s a really scary feeling,” she added. “We have to just do justice by Alice.”
She then flew to Tennessee to meet Johnson in person, after Trump shockingly commuted her sentence.
“It’s just such a satisfying moment. To know that she’s been behind bars for 22 years and she’s now home — it’s really amazing,” she said. “Just seeing Alice with her huge family, it’s like me and my big family. If I couldn’t be with them for two decades, that would break my soul.”
“That’s what so many people don’t get. This has nothing to do with politics. F— politics,” she added. “I don’t really know anything. This is: Get in front of the person — the only person in the world that can make this decision — and try to change their mind.”
“Every time I think that I’ve had a crazy year, I live the next year and it’s even crazier. … On this journey of getting Alice out, I have learned so much about criminal justice is and really how messed up our system is,” Kim said.
"There’s so much that has to be done … now that that is in me, I can’t stop at Alice. There has to be so much more than I can do.”
As the President of the United States, Donald Trump, sends hundreds of thousands of families into turmoil following his decision to end protection for the children of undocumented immigrants, the Mayor of Chicago has reached out to those affected – individuals known as 'Dreamers'.
With tensions running high over Trump's recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy, Rahm Emmanuel asserted that he does not support the move, and insisted that so-called Dreamers were welcome and safe in Chicago.
Speaking to those who benefited from the DACA policy, which was introduced in 2012, at Chicago's Solorio Academy High School this week, the mayor insisted that Trump's move to end protection for dreamers was not something he nor the city of Chicago would tolerate.
"To all the Dreamers that are here in this room and the city of Chicago: you are welcome in the city of Chicago. This is your home and you have nothing to worry about."
With countless young people distraught over the announcement that their opportunities in the United States are no longer available to them, Mayor Emmanuel sought to provide support and reassurance.
"Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city, as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump-free zone."
"You have nothing to worry about. And I want you to know this, and I want your families to know this. And rest assured, I want you to come to school … and pursue your dreams," he said.
DACA allows certain illegal immigrants, who entered the country as minors, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
And if she's concerned that her faux pas may count against her in the future, a Dublin eatery even got in touch and offered her a job when she returns to the Irish capital.
O'Connells Restaurant in Donnybrook responded to Emma's self-deprecating tweets, writing: "Hey Emma, it happens! If on J1, when back drop in to us – happy to offer you a job . Great reaction – once u realised, u played a stormer."
Whether you spread it on toast or slurp it directly off the spoon, there is no doubting that Nutella is an exceptionally delicious chocolate treat.
If you are lucky enough to reside in Chicago (or maybe you're jetting over there on your J1) then you're in for the biggest treat of all, as Ferrero is now opening their first restaurant, the Nutella Cafe.
"We are very pleased to be flying WOW air passengers from Dublin and Cork to the Windy City" said CEO of WOW air following the airline's annoncement.
“The addition of Chicago to WOW air’s growing list of destinations is part of our ongoing strategy to deliver even greater flexibility and convenience to our passengers, with more connections to North America via our Reykjavik hub.”
So, if you've yet to book your holiday this year, it might be time to check out the good folk at WOW air.
Form an orderly queue, ladies.
Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!
When it comes to special sporting moments, Ireland has had quite a few in 2016.
However, according to research from One4all, the Ireland rugby team’s defeat of the almighty All Blacks for the first time in 111 years was the nation’s happiest sporting moment of the year – so say four out of ten people polled.
Meanwhile, the O’Donovan brothers revealing their ‘steak, spuds and pull like a dog’ strategy to RTÉ Sport was chosen as the second happiest sporting occasion of 2016 (13 percent). And the memorable moment Robbie Brady scored against Italy in Euros 2016 came a close third with 12 percent.
The survey, which was carried out among 1,352 adults in Ireland, furthermore revealled that the week-long Irish heatwave in July was the happiest non-sporting moment in Ireland this year (39 percent), followed by the 1916 centenary celebrations at the GPO – close-to a third of people felt that was the year's high point.
It seems President Michael D has put a smile on quite a few people’s faces in 2016 with 14 percent of Irish adults saying the photo of him queueing to use an ATM was one of their happiest non-sporting moments of the year.
One4all also revealed that eight in ten adults say that they feel happier at Christmas time than any other time of the year – with Christmas Eve being more exciting for most than the big day itself.
The brand said in response to the findings: “It’s great to know that for most people, 2016 has been a happy year. From special sporting moments and monumental events to spending time with your family and friends, it’s clear that happiness comes in all shapes and sizes. “
“This Christmas you can make your gift personal by giving a One4all gift card and let your loved one choose something that will make them smile, bringing them some extra happiness to top off 2016!”