Hours after protesters demonstrated outside R. Kelly’s Chicago studio, the rapper – facing increased scrutiny over allegations of a range of misconduct – reportedly partied at a nightclub on the city’s South Side Wednesday night, videos posted on social media appear to show.
According to multiple clips posted on Instagram and Snapchat, the musician was reportedly spotted at the V75 Lounge, located in the 100 block of West 75th Street in the city’s West Chatham neighborhood.
The videos appear to show Kelly – clad in a fur coat, red hat and sunglasses – surrounded by fans and smoking a cigar before taking the microphone and giving what looks like an impromptu performance.
Along with videos of Kelly and the crowd singing happy birthday, a fan said on Snapchat that they were celebrating Kelly’s birthday. He turned 52 on Tuesday.
Kelly’s public appearance came at a time when he is facing increased scrutiny over allegations of mental, physical and sexual abuse highlighted in a new television series.
The six-part series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which describes decades of Kelly’s alleged misconduct, aired last week on Lifetime. It features multiple women who have accused Kelly of sexual, mental, and physical abuse and includes interviews with Kelly’s brothers, the founder of the #MeToo movement, talk-show host Wendy Williams and singer John Legend.
Kelly has repeatedly denied all the allegations against him, including engaging in sexual misconduct, even detailing the claims in a song released last year.
The embattled entertainer has long been accused of behavior that has ranged from questionable to potentially criminal. He was accused of child pornography after a widely circulated videotape appeared to show him having sex with, and urinating on, a teenage girl. He was acquitted of all charges in 2008.
In wake of what she called “deeply disturbing” allegations chronicled in the series, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Tuesday encouraged potential victims to come forward.
“We cannot do anything related to these allegations without the cooperation of these victims,” Foxx said at a press conference.
Foxx noted her office is “in the process of trying to get information” and has been in contact with Chicago police and families who documented concerns surrounding a relative’s contact with the rapper.
Her office said Wednesday that it is following up on calls it has since received.
“We can confirm that the office has received calls related to this matter,” a spokesperson for the office said in a statement Wednesday. “We are in the process of reviewing and following up on these calls and have no additional information to provide at this time.”
Also Wednesday, Chicago police confirmed they conducted a “business check” at his recording studio on the city’s West Side.
“We have no criminal complaints from anyone about the location but we strongly urge anyone that may have information on potential criminal activity to please contact police,” CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.
Steven Greenburg, Kelly’s attorney, told NBC 5 in a phone interview there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.
“There’s not gonna be any physical evidence, no confirmatory evidence,” he said. “Because they want 15 minutes of fame and [Foxx is] encouraging that.”
He said Foxx’s call for alleged victims to come forward was “unprecedented.”
“People know how to call the cops,” Greenburg said. “People call 911. Nobody’s done that because nothing has happened.”
NBC News reached out to Kelly’s representatives about the series and they said they had no comment. NBC Chicago also reached out to Lifetime for comment but has not heard back.
Foxx said victims of sexual assault or domestic violence can contact their local police department or call the state’s attorney’s office at (773) 674-6492.