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R. Kelly & Bill Cosby Are Both Requesting Early Releases Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Photo by Cook County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images/Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

The defamed entertainers both allege their health could potentially be put at risk.

R. Kelly has asked a judge for early release from federal jail in Chicago due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus

If this doesn’t come across as shocking, Bill Cosby’s lawyers are also asking for the defamed comedian to be released early as he’s fearing for his life, he believes he’s at risk of contracting the virus. 

Kelly is currently being held as he awaits trial on child pornography and additional charges, according to CBS. In a court filing, his lawyers allege “scant precautions” are being put in place to halt the spread of the virus behind bars and that Kelly’s life is being put at risk. CBS reports sanitizer and soap are rare in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, besides this the majority of the 700 inmates are held in small, two-man cells which makes social distancing nearly impossible. 

In an 18-page filing, Kelly’s lawyers wrote, “The health risk to Mr. Kelly, because of his age and existing health issues, especially considering the conditions at the MCC, necessitates his release on bail. It also reads, “The courts have long recognized that there is no greater necessity than keeping a defendant alive, no matter the charge.”

If he is released, he could potentially live with his girlfriend Joycelyn Savage at a Chicago loft apartment. He would remain there on home confinement with an electronic monitor, writes his lawyers. Kelly’s trial date in Chicago is October 13.

Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt has presented the following in a statement to the Daily News:

“Mr. Cosby is elderly and blind and always needs to be escorted around the prison by support service inmates. Prisons and jails around the country are becoming infested with coronavirus cases, and it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Cosby’s prison likely falls victim to the virus.”

Additionally Cosby’s legal team is “now considering filing a motion” also asking the court to release him to house arrest. Wyatt added, “Specifically, the lawyers are focusing on whether states are granting early release to elderly inmates from prisons due to the coronavirus, which could be a valid legal argument for Mr. Cosby.” 

BET reports no formal request has been made on Cosby’s behalf.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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