R. Kelly was placed on suicide watch after being sentenced to 30 years in prison, according to his lawyer.

R. Kelly’s lawyer claimed Friday that he has been placed on suicide watch at the federal detention center in New York, where he is being kept after being sentenced to 30 years on racketeering and sex trafficking charges this week.

But the disgraced R&B singer is not suicidal, according to Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who added that Kelly was afraid of being placed on suicide watch.

“The irony is that placing someone on suicide watch when they’re not suicidal creates greater harm,” Bonjean explained.

Kelly’s attorneys eventually filed a lawsuit and requested a temporary restraining order. The complaint claims as defendants the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) of Brooklyn, its top officers, and the United States government.

The lawsuit claims that when Kelly’s attorneys called the detention center after his sentencing to inquire about his status, employees repeatedly hung up on them, “laughed, and were exceedingly disrespectful.” CNN has contacted the US Bureau of Prisons and sought to contact the MDC Warden for comment.

Bonjean previously stated that she was informed by prosecutors who spoke with prison officials. Kelly, 55, was placed on suicide watch due to his celebrity.

“It’s retribution for being well-known. “And it’s terrible, to be honest,” she remarked. “Putting someone on suicide watch in those circumstances is cruel and unusual when they don’t require it.”

“MDC-Brooklyn has a policy of penalizing high-profile detainees by placing them on suicide watch even when they are not suicidal,” the lawsuit claims.

Bonjean is also seeking a temporary restraining order to have Kelly released.

Bonjean stated that she asked Kelly to email her after he was returned to the federal prison following his sentencing on Wednesday, but she never received an email from him. Bonjean noted that she had not received answers about his status from the detention center until prosecutors demanded information from the facility.

Kelly was found guilty on nine counts by a jury last September, including one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law. Prosecutors in New York’s Eastern District accused Kelly of exploiting his famous status and a “network of persons at his disposal to target kids, boys, and young women for his sexual enjoyment.”

The five-week federal trial in Brooklyn featured testimony from individuals who claimed Kelly mistreated them sexually and physically. The court also heard from those involved in the notorious R&B artist’s 1994 marriage to late singer Aaliyah when she was only 15, and he was an adult after she thought she’d gotten pregnant.

Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence Kelly to more than 25 years in prison, while his defense team requested ten years or less.


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