R. Kelly was removed from suicide watch, according to Federals. The singer, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for
racketeering and sexually abusing young girls.
Kelly’s Assistant U.S. Attorney, Melanie Speight, filed a lawsuit Friday alleging prison officials put him on suicide watch at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center “for punitive purposes and because of his status as a high-profile inmate,” stating that Kelly has no thoughts of harming himself.
Kelly’s “current life circumstances undoubtedly bring emotional distress,” Speight wrote in a
“He is a convicted sex offender who has been sentenced to spend the next three decades in
prison,” she added. “In the immediate future, he faces another federal criminal trial in Chicago for charges related to child pornography.”
U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn filed court papers on July 2nd, saying the R&B superstar remains on suicide watch “for his own safety” following a psychological assessment.
Kelly's lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, is arguing that his Eighth Amendment rights against this punishment are being violated. Bonjean argues that suicide watch "can cause serious mental harm" to a non-suicidal inmate because of its harsh restrictions.
Kelly was removed days after suing the facility following his charges. His lawyers had also found a restraining order against the Brooklyn facility and its warden, Heriberto Tellez. Tellez had given the authorization to lift the suicide watch following an assessment, according to court filings.