R. Kelly has been in the midst of legal proceedings surrounding sexual misconduct allegations for months now, and the situation has just developed further: The New York Times notes that today, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn announced that three people — Donnell Russell, Michael Williams, and Richard Arline, Jr. — have been arrested over separate schemes to threaten and bribe Kelly’s accusers. One of those incidents includes setting a car, which belonged to a woman who has publicly accused Kelly, on fire.
The burning took place early in the morning on June 11 in Florida, when a potential witness in Kelly’s trial woke up and discovered that her vehicle was in her her driveway, engulfed in flames.
This is not the first time Kelly and/or his associates have stood accused of intimidation. In October 2019, he was accused of sending letters that threatened his alleged victims and their families. In one instance, he allegedly “sent a typewritten letter to a lawyer then representing Jane Doe #5, threatening to release compromising and potentially embarrassing photographs of Jane Doe #5 if she pursued her civil lawsuit against the defendant.” Prosecutors also claimed, ‘With respect to multiple women, he directed the women, prospective witnesses against him, to pick a side, and strongly implied that choosing the wrong side — i.e., not his side — would result in harm to them or their families.”