One of R. Kelly’s manager’s legal controversies continue to increase. Donnell Russell was charged for allegedly calling a Manhattan workspace screening Surviving R. Kelly and saying that if they did not cancel the event, a mass shooting would take place.
Russell has been charged with two counts of threatening physical harm by interstate communication and one count of conspiracy to do the same. If convicted, Russell could face up to 10 years in prison.
The charges stem from a Dec. 4, 2018, call Russell allegedly made to the screening company. He allegedly said that if the screening at NeueHouse resumed as planned, there would be a shooting. The screening was ultimately canceled due to the alleged threat. The six-part series features entertainment industry figures and women and underage girls who have accused the R&B singer of sexual assault and misconduct over the past 30 years. Some of the women who appeared in the docuseries were supposed to appear at the screening.
Originally, Russell allegedly tried multiple times to get the event canceled, including sending a cease-and-desist order. When that failed, he allegedly threatened the venue.
“Threats of gun violence aimed at intimidating and silencing victims of sexual abuse are unlawful as well as unacceptable,” said acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement. “We are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting such crimes.”
This is not the first time Russell has faced charges in relation to sexual misconduct claims against R. Kelly. Earlier this week, New York federal prosecutors charged him with witness intimidation. Allegedly, he harassed a victim and her mother and threatened to reveal nude photographs of the victim and her sexual history if she did not withdraw her lawsuit and stop criticizing the singer.