I came across a rumour several days ago that said singer R Kelly has fired his publicist over the #AskKelly debacle last week.
For those of you who missed it, someone over in Kelly’s camp (this might have even been Kelly’s idea) decided that it would be a good idea to encourage Twitter users/fans to ask Kelly questions on Twitter to coincide with the release of his new album ‘Black Panties’.
But surely they must have seen this coming…
I think Kelly and his camp live in a world of their own if they believe people have forgotten.
Yesterday journalist Jessica Hopper posted The “Stomach-Churning” Sexual Assault Accusations Against R. Kelly . The article is stomach-churning and upsetting. It also makes me think that Robert Kelly is a very lucky man.
Check out excerpts from her article/interview:
The one young woman, who had been 14 or 15 when R. Kelly began a relationship with her, detailed in great length, in her affidavits, a sexual relationship that began at Kenwood Academy: He would go back in the early years of his success and go to Lina McLin’s gospel choir class. She’s a legend in Chicago, gospel royalty. He would go to her sophomore class and hook up with girls afterward and have sex with them. Sometimes buy them a pair of sneakers. Sometimes just letting them hang out in his presence in the recording studio. She detailed the sexual relationship that she was scarred by. It lasted about one and a half to two years, and then he dumped her and she slit her wrists, tried to kill herself. Other girls were involved. She recruited other girls. He picked up other girls and made them all have sex together. A level of specificity that was pretty disgusting.
Her lawsuit was hundreds of pages long, and Kelly countersued. The countersuit was, like, 10 pages long: “None of this is true!” We began our reporting. We knocked on a lot of doors. The lawsuits, the two that we had found initially, had been settled. Kelly had paid the women and their families money and the settlements were sealed by the court. But of course, the initial lawsuits remain part of the public record.
I think in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, rock music, or pop culture people misbehaving and behaving badly sexually with young women, rare is the amount of evidence compiled against anyone apart from R. Kelly. Dozens of girls — not one, not two, dozens — with harrowing lawsuits. The videotapes — and not just one videotape, numerous videotapes. And not Tommy Lee/Pam Anderson, Kardashian fun video. You watch the video for which he was indicted and there is the disembodied look of the rape victim. He orders her to call him Daddy. He urinates in her mouth and instructs her at great length on how to position herself to receive his “gift.” It’s a rape that you’re watching. So we’re not talking about rock-star misbehavior, which men or women can do. We’re talking about predatory behavior. Their lives were ruined. Read the lawsuits!
And there was a young woman who was pressured into an abortion?
That he paid for. There was a young woman that he picked up on the evening of her prom. The relationship lasted a year and a half or two years. Impregnated her, paid for her abortion, had his goons drive her. None of which she wanted. She sued him. The saddest fact I’ve learned is: Nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody. They have any complaint about the way they are treated: they are “bitches, hos, and gold diggers,” plain and simple. Kelly never misbehaved with a single white girl who sued him or that we know of. Mark Anthony Neal, the African-American scholar, makes this point : one white girl in Winnetka and the story would have been different.
No, it was young black girls and all of them settled. They settled because they felt they could get no justice whatsoever. They didn’t have a chance.
And they learned that after putting these suits forth and having them get nowhere? Do you think they didn’t get traction because of the representation they had, or Kelly’s power? Were certain elements in concert with that?
I think it was a lot of things, including the fact that Kelly was fully capable of intimidating people. These girls feared for their lives. They feared for the safety of their family. And these people talked to me not because I’m super reporter — we rang a lot of doorbells on the south and west sides, and people were eager to talk about this guy, because they wanted him to stop!
We had gotten one videotape already after the first story, and we gave it to the police. When I say “we,” I mean a roomful of editors sitting around asking: What is the right thing to do here? This would seem to be evidence of a felony, we should give it to police. There was one tape, but the police could not determine the girl’s age. The forensic experts they had looking at it said judging by the soles of her feet, they could tell she was 13 or 14 at the time this tape was made, but we can’t identify who the woman is. Videotape number one.
There were tapes on the street. And I had heard of another video tape with a girl who was part of an ongoing relationship. This is the girl who was in the tape that was in the lawsuit.
Coaches, best friend’s parents, pastor, half the family, grandmother, aunt — but the mother and father never testified, the girl never testified. When we wrote our story about the tape, the girl and mother and father took a six-month vacation to the south of France. We’d been to the house several times. We’d rung the doorbell. This was an aluminum-siding, lower-middle-class house on the South Side, with a station wagon which is 13 years old — you know what I mean? And now they’re in the south of France. And one time the dad got a credit as a bass player on an R. Kelly album. He didn’t play bass.
I think, again, everybody has to individually answer. I can still listen to Led Zeppelin and take joy in Led Zeppelin or James Brown. I condemn the things they did. I’m not reminded constantly in the art, because the art is not about it. But if you’re listening to “I want to marry you, pussy,” and not realizing that he said that to Aaliyah, who was 14, and making an album he named Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number — I had Aaliyah’s mother cry on my shoulder and say her daughter’s life was ruined, Aaliyah’s life was never the same after that. That’s not an experience you’ve had. I’m not expecting you to feel the same way I do. But you can look at this body of evidence. You, meaning everybody who cares!
I have a feeling that at some point R Kelly will have to face the music again in front of a jury. You just never know what’s around the corner waiting…..
I wish the parents would take his money but see that he gets jail time too. Money alone will not fade the scars those young women are going to carry for the rest of their lives.