FACT CHECK: Was R. Kelly Released From Prison In June 2021?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared over 15,000 times claims singer R. Kelly has been recently released from prison in 2021.

Verdict: False

The Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Kelly remains in prison as of the time of publication.

Fact Check:

Kelly was arrested and indicted in Chicago in July 2019 on charges including producing and receiving child pornography and obstruction of justice, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release. In New York, he also faces a separate indictment for charges including racketeering, sexual exploitation of minors and Mann Act violations, according to CNN.

A viral Facebook post from June 3 attempts to suggest Kelly, who has denied the accusations, was recently released from prison, saying, “R Kelly out.” It features a photo of the singer and another man walking away from fencing with barbed wire on it.

Contrary to this claim, Kelly has not been released from prison at this time. As of June 8, the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator lists him as being housed at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. Check Your Fact also didn’t find any local or national media outlets reporting Kelly had been let out of prison this year. (RELATED: Is Disney CEO Bob Chapek In Jail For Abusing Children?)

In April, a federal judge approved plans to transport him to New York for an August trial on the charges filed against him there, the Associated Press reported. He is set to face another trial in Chicago later in this year, though that trial may be postponed due to the timing of the first one, according to Newsweek.

While the photo included in the Facebook post does show Kelly leaving a correctional facility, it predates his July 2019 arrest. It was taken by Associated Press photographer Paul Beaty in March 2019 as he left Chicago’s Cook County Jail after being held for three days for failing to pay child support, according to its caption.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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