AceShowbiz - R. Kelly's former manager has been handed a year in jail for calling in a shooting threat to a cinema trying to show a damning documentary about the disgraced R&B sensation's years of abuse. On Monday, December 19, Donnell Russell, 47, was sentenced after he admitted in court he had made "bad judgments" when he briefly worked for Kelly, and insisted, "I'm not a horrible person."
However, US District Judge Paul Gardephe labelled him someone who took part in "serious criminal conduct" in "a misguided attempt to protect someone who was a prolific abuser."
Russell - who used the gun warning to try and shut down a showing of "Surviving R. Kelly" and was also convicted of other crimes for his role in helping Kelly cover up the accusations in the film - said he initially got involved with the singer, 55, by assisting him with intellectual property matters to help the singer fund his legal bills, but the two Chicago natives had met decades earlier.
Kelly - born Robert Sylvester Kelly - was last year convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering last year and was sentenced to 30 years behind bars, and sentencing on his separate conviction in Chicago for producing child pornography and enticing girls for sex is due on February 23.
Russell phoned in a shooting threat on December 4, 2018, to the Manhattan premiere of Lifetime's "Surviving R Kelly" docuseries, which famously exposed horrific allegations against Kelly he sexually abused women and girls. The ex-manager's warning successfully closed the 2018 showing, with guests evacuated as a result.
Some of Kelly's accusers were set to speak at a panel discussion at the event. Authorities linked Russell to the threat after they recovered phone records and text messages. Before the call, Russell had threatened to sue over the documentary.
He was tried earlier this year on an interstate stalking charge of one of Kelly's victims, with a jury reviewing evidence that suggested Russell sent threats by text and published explicit images of the accusers online. He was convicted and sentenced to 20 months in prison on the charge.