R. Kelly is suing the Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn, where he’s been incarcerated since being sentenced to 30 years in federal prison earlier this week. In his lawsuit, Kelly claims that he’s punitively been placed under suicide watch at MDC Brooklyn, despite having no thoughts of suicide or self-harm. The suit names both the facility and its warden, Heriberto Tellez. Pitchfork has contacted representatives for the singer, the U.S. Department of Justice, and MDC Brooklyn for comment.
In the suit, Kelly claims that he was placed under suicide watch after receiving his sentence on June 29. The suit claims that Kelly is being held under suicide watch to punish him for his celebrity status, and that he’s made to wear a paper-like smock and denied utensils to eat. It further claims that the circumstances of Kelly’s confinement are causing him irreparable mental harm. The suit also likens Kelly’s confinement to that of convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell. Kelly seeks “award of compensatory damages for all emotional distress, humiliation, pain and suffering, and other harm in an amount to be determined at trial.”
Kelly’s new legal claim comes two days after he received his sentence for the federal sex trafficking and racketeering charges, of which he was convicted in September. His Chicago trial for federal child pornography and obstruction charges begins on August 1, and Kelly is still facing felony charges for prostitution with a minor in Minnesota.