An East Point-based property management company is suing R. Kelly for damages to two homes he rented near Johns Creek.
Fred J. Rushing and Heather L. Johnson — two attorneys with RBBS, LLC — filed the civil suit in the state court of Fulton County on Wednesday on behalf of SB Property Management Global, LLC.
The suit claims that Kelly, a Grammy-winning R&B artist who is no stranger to controversy, owes the property management company $203,400 for damages to the two homes he rented from it.
A secretary for Rushing and Johnson said they were in court on Thursday and they did not immediately respond to emails and calls from the AJC. Attempts to reach Kelly and representatives for him were also unsuccessful.
More from the AJC | R. Kelly accused of abusing women, running 'cult' in Johns Creek
Kelly rented two homes from SB Property Management: a 23-room house on Old Homestead Trail that covered more than 9,000 square feet, and a four-bedroom home on Saint Devon Crossing.
Documents in the lawsuit show that Kelly signed a lease agreement for the Saint Devon Crossing home from July 25, 2017 to July 31, 2018, agreeing to a rent of $3,000 per month. Similar documents show he began renting the home on Old Homestead Trail on Jan. 18, 2015, agreeing to a monthly rent of $10,000.
The suit says that Kelly moved out of those homes in February 2017, but he and SB Property Management didn’t agree to terminate the leases and surrender Kelly’s possession of the homes until Feb. 27, 2018. That came two weeks after the company filed a notice in Fulton County magistrate court to have Kelly evicted from the homes.
The next day, the suit says, SB Property management inspected the homes and found “extensive damage” that was “beyond normal wear and tear.” After evaluating the damage, the company sent a demand for payment to Kelly, Chicago-based attorney Linda Mensch and to Outsyder Entertainment.
Mensch told the AJC on Thursday that she no longer represents Kelly.
According to the suit, the damages to the Old Homestead Trail house were so severe that the company was unable to re-lease it. The company claims that there was extensive damage to electrical work in the home and it would have to refinish flooring and carpet in many of the rooms. There were also two broken windows, and items such as a stove, bedroom furniture, pillows, a table, six mirrors, 22 light fixtures and ceiling fans were missing. The suit claims that the theatre, fitness room, cigar room, study, bathrooms, first floor kitchen and living room were all damaged.
The Saint Devon Crossing home had trash in it and also had two broken windows, the suit says.
These were the same homes that were “ransacked” in 2017 after a former associate of Kelly’s, Alfonso L. Walker, broke into them, then stole and sold many of the items inside. The Lawrenceville man was arrested in December 2017 and charged with theft and burglary.
The suit and attached documents show that Kelly and SB Property Management reached a settlement agreement on April 16. Under the agreement, which is signed by Kelly, he would pay the company $170,000, and then the company would release him from any “claims arising from the damages.”
The suit says that Kelly paid $20,000 to the company on April 17, but the company claims it never received another payment from the singer. He was supposed to make a $30,000 payment 72 hours after the agreement, a $60,000 payment 33 days later, and then a $70,000 payment 68 days later.
None of those payments came, according to the suit. On June 22, Johnson sent an email to Kelly’s representatives demanding the full balance be paid.
At one time, Kelly rented a third home in Johns Creek on Creek Wind Court. In July 2017, after BuzzFeed published an article claiming that Kelly “held women against their will in a cult” there, Tim and Jonjelyn Savage of Atlanta held a press conference outside the home. They said their daughter Joycelyn was “beat” by Kelly and “part of the R. Kelly cult.” Joycelyn later released a video through TMZ saying she was “in a happy place.” More accusers of Kelly have come forth since the original report. He has denied all allegations.
Johns Creek police handed over a file on Kelly to the Fulton District Attorney’s Office in August 2017. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the DA said, “We reviewed police reports that were provided to us, but there was no reason to take any further action.”
In June, the Savages and Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, appeared on the TV One talk show “Sister Circle,” which is filmed in Atlanta. The Savages also appeared on Megyn Kelly’s NBC show in May.
On “Sister Circle,” Tim Savage said that people from Kelly’s camp have tried to contact him. According to a Henry County police report from May 23, Savage said that James Mason threatened him over the phone, saying, “I’m going to (expletive) kill you.”
A Henry County police spokesperson said Thursday that an arrest warrant for those threats has been issued July 24 for Mason. An attempt to reach Mason at the phone number listed for him in the lawsuit was unsuccessful.
Kelly recently booked a Sept. 15 show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, according to Variety. In July, Kelly released a 19-minute song called “I Admit” in which he addressed the sexual abuse allegations against him, among other topics.
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