FACT CHECK: Did R. Kelly Escape From Prison?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims singer and convicted sex trafficker R. Kelly escaped from a New York prison following his sentencing.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Kelly has escaped. The claim stems from a satirical account.

Fact Check: 

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was recently sentenced to 30-years in prison after his conviction by a New York Jury on sex trafficking and racketeering charges, according to CNN. He was removed from suicide watch on Tuesday following a clinical assessment, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Facebook shows a screen grab of an Instagram post that claims that Kelly has since escaped from prison. The image features a mugshot of the singer and a photo attributed to ABC News that appears to show a tunnel.

“The star allegedly first went missing early this morning, but it wasn’t until later in the afternoon that prison officials could confirm R Kelly’s escape via security footage of beneath prison grounds,” the image’s text reads in part.

The claim is false. No such news reports from ABC News or other news outlets state that Kelly had escaped from prison or had been planning to do so. The photo of the alleged escape appears to have been taken from a 2015 ABC News video of a prison break at the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

The post originates from an Instagram account that identifies itself as “daily satire” in its bio. (RELATED: Was R. Kelly Released From Prison In June 2021?)

Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, according to Sky News. A search on the Federal Bureau of Prison website shows that Kelly is still being held at MDC. The site makes no mention of any alleged escape. 

Check Your Fact has reached out to the MDC for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter

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