R&B singer R. Kelly’s life seems to be falling apart in the wake of Lifetime’s damning documentary series on his alleged sexual abuse.
He has reportedly been suffering from panic attacks — one serious enough to send him to a hospital — and had more drama Friday when a judge granted the city of Chicago’s emergency motion to enter the singer’s Near West Side recording studio to investigate alleged building code violations.
The judge ordered the inspection to take place Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune, which reported that the city’s Department of Buildings wants to see if Kelly illegally converted the warehouse into a recording studio and living quarters without obtaining permits.
The emergency motion was prompted by an anonymous call to Chicago’s 311 line Wednesday saying that people were living in the building, which is zoned for commercial use only. The Tribune also reports that the building’s owner is trying to evict Kelly in a separate suit for not paying rent.
Meanwhile, sources tied to the fading star told TMZ that his panic attacks began occurring in the days leading up to when “Surviving R. Kelly” starting airing last Thursday. The incidents have continued even after the six-part documentary — which aired two episodes per night from Jan. 3-5 — wrapped up, with one attack so bad that it prompted him to be treated at a hospital.
A rep for Kelly replied with “no comment” when asked about both the panic attacks and the building inspection.
The docuseries examines claims that Kelly preyed on underage girls and sexually, physically and mentally abused many victims.
The series has already stirred up a criminal investigation in Georgia, where investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta have reportedly tried to contact some of the women who spoke of allegedly being abused in the documentary. Also, prosecutors in Chicago are urging victims to come forward.
Doctors have been making house visits tied to Kelly’s panic attacks, sources told TMZ. The gossip site also reported that the attacks — which can include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, and a feeling that something bad is going to happen — have been triggered by the backlash he’s been getting from fellow celebrities and viewers in general.
On Wednesday, Lady Gaga apologized for collaborating with Kelly on the 2013 song “Do What U Want,” which includes such lyrics as, “So do what you want, what you want with my body.”
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” Gaga wrote in a Wednesday tweet. “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”
Before the song came out, Kelly had already been acquitted of child pornography charges following a trial, and he had also been accused of marrying the singer Aaliyah when he was 27 and she was just 15.
In addition, Kelly’s estranged daughter Joann Lee Kelly, who goes by the name Buku Abi, called her father a “monster” Thursday in a statement. “My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life,” she wrote in an Instagram story.
One of Kelly’s accusers, Lisa Van Allen, who appeared in the Lifetime docuseries, also described her relationship with Kelly to Jada Pinkett Smith for the actress’ web talk show for episodes airing this Friday and Monday.
“When he first told me he had never had a threesome, and I felt like I needed to do that for him because we were together and I was living with him,” Van Allen said, “I did it, and then he wanted another one and another one, and that’s when it was like ‘Uh oh.’”
Van Allen, who was 17 at the time of her relationship with Kelly, said on the Lifetime show that the singer coerced her into having sex with him and a 14-year-old girl, telling Van Allen that the other girl was 16.