For the past 20-something years, girls and women have detailed sexual abuse by R&B superstar R. Kelly (Robert Kelly). This common knowledge has gone largely ignored throughout the years. Much like the “open secret” of Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior in Hollywood, the entertainment industry is permeated with R. Kelly’s disgusting sexual habits. No one wants to talk about it though. When there is money to be made, corporations often turn a blind eye to creeps like R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein.
The fall of Harvey Weinstein kickstarted the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns. As more women began to speak out against prominent men in several industries, questions arose over those already known as predators. R. Kelly is at the top of this list. Over the years, women have filed lawsuits against R. Kelly claiming he victimized them as minors. He was actually indicted in 2002 on 21 counts of child pornography after it was discovered that he filmed himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl who called him “daddy.” However, a jury found Kelly not guilty because the victim and her family refused to testify or give statements.
Kelly has faced several allegations against him through lawsuits brought on by women who all state he had sex with them as minors. He eventually settled each lawsuit by paying off his accusers while asserting innocence. However, Kelly demonstrated his penchant for underage girls in 1994 when he was 28 years old and married the late singer Aaliyah Haughton when she was just 15 years old. It was discovered that their marriage license listed her as being 18. The illegal marriage was eventually annulled by her parents. Neither of them spoke publicly about it and cut off all communication with one another.
Following the conviction of Bill Cosby, social media turned its attention to R. Kelly. He’s been described as manipulative, controlling, and abusive by his accusers. He’s been consistently accused of victimizing young girls and women over the past two decades. Twitter users started a campaign calling on corporations like RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music, and TicketMaster to boycott R. Kelly. They’re also demanding that law enforcement launch an appropriate investigation into the singer. Recently, Kelly has been accused of holding women against their will— similar to a cult—and forcing them to participate in sexual activities. While the singer denied the allegations, former employees backed up the accusations.
Kelly’s management team released a statement saying they’ll “vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.” R. Kelly has enjoyed the wealth that affords him to pay off his victims and undoubtedly insist they sign non-disclosure agreements meant to protect him from prosecution. To claim that calling for justice is a “lynching of a black man” is absolutely ridiculous. Perverts come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and income brackets. To equate lynching of black men to calling on R. Kelly to be held accountable for preying on girls and women is appalling. Race card declined.