R. Kelly will be appearing in a Brooklyn courtroom via video link from Chicago next week so he can be arraigned on a brand new bribery charges stemming from his 1994 marriage to the late singer Aaliyah.
Federal Judge Ann Donnelly asked that the disgraced star appear in person for the Dec. 18 arraignment over allegations that he paid off a government employee in 1994 to get a 15-year-old Aaliyah a fake ID.
But it seems that Kelly has a phobia of flying, and Donnelly has granted the request to take part via video
Defense attorney Douglas C. Anton who is overseeing Kelly's New York case, called the new bribery charge "an absolute absurdity, backed by more innuendo and baseless accusations."
"To think that the Federal Government has nothing better to do then go back 25 years and address a 'fake ID' charge makes their whole case weaker," Anton told NBC News.
His Defense attorney Steven Greenbergadded:
"We're going to review the indictment, which we just got this afternoon. It doesn't look like it materially changes anything in the case," Greenberg said Thursday. "We continue to work on this and look forward to the day Robert is free."
Back in July, Kelly was also charged in the Eastern District of New York with violating the Mann Act by coercing and transporting women and girls across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity as far back as 1999.
In August, he pleaded not guilty to the charges in that indictment that included counts of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor, and sexual exploitation of a child. The indictment covers incidents in four states: Illinois, Connecticut, California, and New York. Five Jane Does are referenced throughout the document, including three minors.