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False: R Kelly has not been released from prison

Photo source: Chicago Tribune 3 mins read

Claim: R Kelly has been released from prison.

The American singer-songwriter is still in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago. He has been in the facility since July 2019 and is facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges

Full Text

There are increasing social media posts suggesting that popular R&B Singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly, widely known as R Kelly has been released from prison.

Some of these posts can be found on Twitter (here, and here)

These users were celebrating the release of the musician.

One of the posts published a video from Sky News which shows R Kelly speaking to the media after this supposed release.

The account that posted this video, with the caption “R Kelly is out of jail 👏” has over 8,000 followers. 

The video, at the time of writing this report, had 103 retweets, 41 quotes, 313 likes and had also attracted 38.6k views.

There is also a picture such as below that is being used to support the claim that the singer has been released.

Credit: @Jrashaud (Twitter)

Verification

We run the photo through a Google Reverse Image search to identify other instances where the photo was used.

Similar images with the musician in the same clothing were found. These images were used in various news articles published online in March 2019. These can be found on chicago.suntimes.com, nwaonline.com, and abcnews.go.com

In those three instances, the story was about his release from a Chicago jail after paying off some $161,000 he owed in child support.

One Paul Beaty of the Associated Press was named as the photographer who captured the image. 

The photo can indeed be found in the Associated Press’ media library

It was taken on March 9, 2019 in Chicago.

The image that can be found in Associated Press’ Media Library

The other man walking at the right side of the musician has been identified as Steve Greenberg, Lawyer for R Kelly.

The video shared by the other user can also be found in Sky News’ video library on Youtube, posted on May 9, 2019.

Another search was run using his name on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, a result matching his identity was found with an unknown release date. The register number, 09627-035, attached to his name has been used in web posts featuring the musician’s tale in prison. Such can be found on chicagocrusader.com and msn.com

Credit: Federal Bureau of Prison 

Conclusion

It is not true that R Kelly has been released from prison. The images being shared to announce his release from jail were taken at least two years ago. The American singer-songwriter is in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago. He has been in the facility since July 2019 and is facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up roles in the profession the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking. 

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