CHICAGO (CBS) — He made million and was loved by fans, but super star R. Kelly had legal troubles long before that explosive documentary detailed serious sex assault allegations.
R. Kelly’s 2003 hit “Step in the Name of Love” is among the some 2,000 songs the artist is credited with producing, but it’s also the song he was sued over.
In 2006 Kelly’s longtime friend and employee Henry Vaughn filed a suit which said he was “entitled to half of the proceeds” from the song and that he “proposed the concept for the song, taught Kelly to step, told Kelly about the Steppin Culture.”
A judge dismissed this suit for lack of evidence but said Vaughn could file again. It’s unclear if he ever did.
Vaughn was one of a number of Kelly employees who were clearly unhappy with the singer.
In 2005, Brandon Novak, a worker whose job was “cleaning the studio space, moving tapes from the studio, picking up and delivering food, and dropping off and picking up employees, accused Kelly of not paying overtime wages.
Three years later, Leslie Weekly, a security guard, made a similar accusation in a lawsuit, showing a paystub of $7.50 and claiming she too was never paid overtime.
The next year, Gregory Preston, another security guard, said he worked many of the concerts, was paid $450 each week and worked over 100 hours in at least one week. Again the complaint was no payment for overtime.
Anthony Navarro was a runner at Kelly’s concerts. His job, according to his 2010 complaint, was “providing assistance to other tour employees including stagehands and sound engineers … worked more than 80 hours each week and not paid for overtime.”
In each of the cases, it appeared that Kelly reached a settlement with his employees.
And according to a source in Kelly’s camp, almost everyone who sued eventually returned to their jobs.