R. Kelly has issued a statement denying he had anything to do with the release of new album I Admit It, which his label has also called an unauthorized release.
According to TMZ, Kelly recorded his statement on Friday (December 9), just hours after the album appeared on all the major streaming platforms as a surprise new project. In the audio statement, R. Kelly not only denies he had anything to do with the album, but also maintains that the voice on the project is not his.
“Apparently somebody done faked an album called I Admit It, and put it out there as if it was me putting it out,” R. Kelly said in the prison recording. “And I’m not putting out any albums, I haven’t put out any albums, I’m not even interested in putting out any albums, ’cause my only focus is the appeal and everything else. But it seems like somebody want this album out to mess with the appeal because why would I put an album out called I Admit It? Okay, so that right there make no damn sense.”
He went on to suggest that the people who know his voice should have recognized that he was not the one singing the 13 songs which appeared on the new album. The singer even sang a few lines of “When A Woman’s Fed Up,” to prove he had no part in the project.
“I wish they’d find out who did this and who’s putting it out there, ’cause they also, on top of that, they’re probably making money off of it.” R. Kelly continued. “And it’s just messed up that it happens to come at the time when I’m working on my appeal that an album comes out that’s supposed to be from me called I Admit It. It’s just really just fucked up.”
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has confirmed that R. Kelly did not have access to any equipment that would have allowed him to record this project while in custody.
I Admit It would have marked R. Kelly’s 19th studio album, and his first new project since 2014.
When it first appeared online, streaming services listed the album as having been released through Legacy Recordings – a division of Sony Music specializing in new releases by legacy acts and reissues by Sony’s current and past roster of artists.
Hours after the project’s release, Sony informed TMZ that I Admit It was not an authorized release. About an hour later, I Admit It had been removed from major streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music.
Criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean informed TMZ that she was working with R. Kelly’s entertainment attorneys and others on his team to determine who has access to his music, stating that they’ve identified a small group of potential culprits.
She added that a 2019 search and seizure — during which her client’s studio equipment, computers and masters were taken — has made it increasingly difficult to keep others from accessing his intellectual property.
R. Kelly is currently serving a 30-year sentence at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, after being found guilty by a federal court in Brooklyn on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act — the law that bars transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose” — in 2021.
Earlier this year, he was also found guilty in a Chicago court, where he was convicted on three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor. His sentencing in this case is set for Februrary 2023.
Bonjean, who released the audio statement to TMZ, began R. Kelly’s appeal process in November, when she filed two motions in Chicago’s federal court seeking a new trial or reversal of his prior convictions of sex abuse and child pornography.
The attorney made a request to U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber for a judgment of acquittal due to “several technical factors, including that prosecutors did not prove that the alleged sex tape of Kelly abusing “Jane” at his home was made for the “purpose” of producing child pornography.”
R. Kelly’s legal team filed a second motion asking for a new trial accusing Dr. Darrel Turner, who testified as an expert witness, of making false statements at the trial. Turner testified about how sexual predators “groom” underage victims.
“Had the jurors known that Dr. Turner actively misled them, the jurors would likely have rejected his testimony outright,” Bonjean wrote. Prosecutors are expected to file responses to Bonjean’s motions later this month.