R. Kelly girlfriend pleads not guilty to battery charge

In this Feb. 23, 2019, photo, Joycelyn Savage, right, a girlfriend of R. Kelly, leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago following the R&B star's first court appearance on sexual abuse charges. Chicago police said Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, that Savage was taken into custody Wednesday, Jan. 8 after allegedly punching another girlfriend of R. Kelly's in the face inside the embattled singer's Trump Tower condominium. Savage was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery. (AP Photo/Matt Marton, File)
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CHICAGO (AP) — A fight between two of R. Kelly’s girlfriends inside the embattled singer’s Trump Tower condominium led to a domestic battery charge against one of them and sent the other to the hospital, Chicago police said Thursday.

Joycelyn Savage, 24, was taken into custody after allegedly punching a 22-year-old woman in the face Wednesday, police said. She was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

Savage’s hands were shackled as she appeared in Cook County Circuit Court on Thursday to plead not guilty to the charges. The assistant public defender representing Savage asked that she be released on a recognizance bond, and Judge Erika Orr agreed.

The brawl between the women, who had been living with Kelly before he was jailed last year on sexual abuse and other charges, began shortly after 2 p.m. when police were called to the Trump Tower building for a “battery in progress” involving two women, Officer Anthony Spicuzza told the Chicago Tribune.

The women were separated and when officers arrived, the 22-year-old woman told them that she and Savage had an argument that became physical when the older woman allegedly hit her in the face.

Savage, whose home address is listed in the same block as Trump Tower, fled but later turned herself in to police and was arrested on signed complaints, authorities said. She has a court date scheduled for Feb. 6 at the county’s domestic violence courthouse.

The younger woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in good condition, Spicuzza said.

“It was a battery; it was a fight, but I don’t know what condition she’s in,’’ Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said, adding that the injuries were not life-threatening.

A series of videos posted to Instagram show the 22-year-old woman angrily confronting Savage before a scuffle broke out between the two. In one video, the 22-year-old told officers she was in the unit with a few other people when Savage and another woman — a “handler” for Kelly — arrived to pick up Kelly’s “awards and his Grammys and stuff,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“She came to me and attacked me and I had to defend myself,” the 22-year-old told police, alleging that Savage hit her with her hands and her phone and tried to kick her, as well.

The 22-year-old’s name came up last month in Brooklyn, New York, when prosecutors there asked for any Cook County marriage records, records show. The 22-year-old had until recently lived with Kelly at the Trump Tower address.

Kelly, 53 on Wednesday, is being held without bond in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. He is charged with a variety of crimes in three states. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in Chicago and New York of a racketeering scheme to sexually abuse girls. Kelly is also accused in Minnesota of offering a 17-year-old money in 2001 to take off her clothes and dance. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

documentary series chronicling Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of minors is currently being aired on Lifetime.