Three associates of fallen R&B star R. Kelly were arrested and charged Tuesday by New York federal authorities. The three are being accused of attempting to harass, threaten, intimidate and bribe several of Kelly's alleged victims of sexual abuse.
The men are 31-year-old Richard Arline, Jr. a self-described friend of the singer; Donnell Russell, 45, a self-described "manager, advisor and friend" of Kelly; and Michael Williams, age 37, whom prosecutors say is a relative of one of Kelly's former publicists.
The charges were filed in the Eastern District of New York [EDNY]. According to prosecutors, Arline tried to bribe one of Kelly's alleged victims earlier this year with a proposed payment of $500,000, in order to keep her from cooperating with the government and testifying against Kelly at trial. Prosecutors also say that Arline claimed that he has been in touch with Kelly, while he is being held in custody, via a three-way phone call.
Russell, prosecutors say, tried to harass and intimidate another alleged Kelly victim and her mother between November 2018 and February of this year, after the woman filed a civil lawsuit against the singer. They accuse Russell of threatening to release sexually explicit photos of the woman, and to reveal elements of her sexual history, if she did not withdraw the suit.