Read the "Stomach-Churning" Sexual Assault Accusations Against R. Kelly in Full

Categories: R. Kelly

sun-times-screencap.jpg
Yeah. 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.

The situations are incredibly complicated, and sometimes there is an element of, "We're gonna exploit this situation for our favor." That doesn't mean that it's legal or it's right or that girl wasn't harmed. It tore that family apart.

How many people do you think you've interviewed? How many people came forward?

I think in the end there were two dozen women with various level of details. Obviously the women who were part of the hundreds of pages of lawsuits -- hell of a lot of details. There were girls who just told one simple story, and there were a lot of girls who told stories that lasted hours which still make me sick to my stomach. It never was one girl on one tape. Or one girl and Aaliyah.

The other thing, the thing that people seem to not know: She was fresh out of eighth grade in this tape.

Fourteen or 15. That puts a perspective on it. She's not sophisticated enough to know what her kinks are.

Let's talk about what it is, aside from not just having reportorial chops, that might hold somebody back. I feel that a lot of younger journalists came up through blogs, not journalism school. They are fearful to write about it because they don't know what they can say, what language they can use, if they can be sued for even acknowledging charges.

You may not know how to report, but you should know how to read. The Sun-Times was never sued for the hundreds of thousands of words that it wrote about R. Kelly. You cannot be sued for repeating anything that is in a lawsuit. You cannot be sued for repeating anything that was said during the six- or seven-week trial. It's in his record, and then there's Kelly's own words. Then read [Kelly's biography] Soulacoaster. It was not a pleasant experience for me to read Soulacoaster! But read it, and read what he says in his own book! Do your goddamn homework!

What are the other factors?

Here's the most sinister. This deeply troubles me: There's a very -- I don't know what the percentage is -- some percentage of fans are liking Kelly's music because they know. And that's really troublesome to me. There is some sort of -- and this is tied up to complicated questions of racism and sexism -- there is some sort of vicarious thrill to seeing this guy play this character in these songs and knowing that it's not just a character.

Songs like "Sexasaurus" kind of makes it novel. The ironic, jokey Trapped in the Closet series airs on the Independent Film Channel and features Will Oldham -- that has these other hallmarks of "art" that read to a white, hipster, indie-rock audience, then, because we are not taking certain things seriously, we can choose not to take the lives of these young black women seriously.

It puts it in the realm of camp or kitsch. If you have an emotional reaction to a work of art and you use all your skills as a critic to back it up with evidence and context. That's all we can ask of anybody. We're all viewing art differently. The joy is in the conversation. Pitchfork is the premier critical organ in the United States for smart discussion of music, books, and artists, but it doesn't have this discussion. The site reviews his records but doesn't have the conversation about, "What does it say for us to like his music?"

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.

You told me about the night after your critical review of R. Kelly's performance at Pitchfork ran, one of these women called you at 2 a.m.

This happens a lot. If you are a good reporter, you are accessible to people and you cannot turn a story off. And that sucks! The number of times since I began this R. Kelly story that I was called in the middle of the night, was talking to someone on Christmas Eve or on New Year's Day or Thanksgiving. ... Yeah, I got a call from one of the women after the Pitchfork festival review. "I know we haven't spoken in a long time," and said thank you for still caring and thank you for writing this story, because nobody gives a shit.

It was a horrible day and a horrible couple of weeks when he was acquitted. The women I heard from who I'd interviewed, women I'd never interviewed who said, "I didn't come forward, I never spoke to you before, I wish I had now that son of a bitch got off." Jesus Christ. Rape-victim advocates -- I don't believe in God -- they do God's work. These young women who volunteer to be in the emergency room and sit with a woman throughout the horrible process, I don't do that. I'm not saying I'm even in the same universe. But somebody calls you up and says I want to talk about this, or thank you about writing this, or, "I can't sleep because I'm haunted, can you hear what I want to tell you?" We do that as a human being. I would like to forget about this story. I'm not saying I'm super reporter. I'm saying this was a huge story. Where was everybody else?

There is a disregard for your ongoing concern about this. "Let this go, Jim. Get over it, Jim. He was acquitted." You have never dropped this, and your peers are pissed because it puts the rest of us over a barrel. I can speak to this, too. It's often uncool to be the person who gives a shit.

"You're jealous of R. Kelly, you're trying to make your name off his career."

Because you would love nothing more than to have to report and carry these stories of rape.

Rapes, plural. It is on record. Rapes in the dozen. So stop hedging your words, and when you tell me what a brilliant ode to pussy Black Panties is, then realize that the next sentence should say: "This, from a man who has committed numerous rapes." The guy was a monster! Just say it! We do have a justice system and he was acquitted. OK, fine. And these other women took the civil lawsuit route. He was tried on very narrow grounds. He was tried on a 29-minute, 36-second videotape. He was tried on trading child pornography. He was not tried for rape. He was acquitted of making child pornography. He's never been tried in court for rape, but look at the statistics. The numbers of rapes that happened, the numbers of rapes that were reported, the numbers of rapes that make it to court and then the conviction rate. I mean, it comes down to something minuscule. He's never had his day in court as a rapist. It's 15 years in the past now, but this record exists. You have to make a choice, as a listener, if music matters to you as more than mere entertainment. And you and I have spent our entire lives with that conviction. This is not just entertainment, this is our lifeblood. This matters.

Jessica Hopper is a freelance music and culture critic and the author of The Girls Guide to Rocking.

Read the court files and all of Jim DeRogatis' Sun-Times reporting on the case against R. Kelly on the next page.


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3251 comments
Somebody
Somebody

Just read this story, and to make this comment short here I go. I saw the piss vid years ago but still enjoyed his music, now reading more, I picked up my IPOD and deleted all R.Kelly songs, the end. He took advantage of a situation, and being a young girl, I would say, sometimes the reality isn't seen until its too late. Am sure this is not the only artist, and it will happen again and again, remember we are humans and still evolving, really slowly. Sad

Somebody
Somebody

Just read this story, and to make this comment short here I go. I saw the piss vid years ago but still enjoyed his music, now reading more, I picked up my IPOD and deleted all R.Kelly songs, the end. He took advantage of a situation, and being a young girl, I would say, sometimes the reality isn't seen until its too late. Am sure this is not the only artist, and it will happen again and again, remember we are humans and still evolving, really slowly. Sad

erkn36
erkn36

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roneyshaheen
roneyshaheen

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مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات

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عزل وتنظيف الخزانات

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Jose R. Miranda Ramos
Jose R. Miranda Ramos

This is how the NYPD treats Veterans: "SMASH FIRST -- ASK QUESTIONS LATER" Angle 1, Part One PLEASE SHARE On November 21, 2014 at around 11:21PM, The Gentlemen being apprehended was not aggressive toward the Police Officers and also The Police officers assaulted other Veterans, Local Security Guards and Staff members from Borden Avenue Veterans Residence. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=701260299981716&set=vb.311987835575633&type=2&theater Part two https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=701261733314906&set=vb.311987835575633&type=2&theater

thomasguariano
thomasguariano

SO HE IS A PREACHER WHAT DOES HE PREACH OH I KNOW HE WARNS ALL THE FOLKS IN CHURCH ABOUT THE DANGERS OF PETAFILES LURKING ABOUT AND TO NOT TRUST ANYONE WITH YOU CHILDREN ESPECIALLY HIMSELF 

Baalhabaalim
Baalhabaalim

Perhaps Mr. DeRogatis would be kind enough to edify us as to why he made a copy of the anonymously-sent sex tape which he later surrendered to police?

lahipster
lahipster

when girls find out that they should get paid for giving away their pussy for free they sue years later 

Dottie
Dottie

This man, Derogitis, is consumed with the R. Kelly

situation. I am not advocating for or against him or for anyone to purchase or
not purchase his music. He went through the legal process and was found not
guilty. I get it, not everyone agreed with the verdict, but it is what it is.
There have been two court verdicts that I did not agree with: 1) OJ Simpson
trial verdict because I still believe he committed the crime, but not necessarily alone. 2) George Zimmerman because I don’t feel a
community watcher should have been armed and I don’t believe in the ‘stand your
ground Law.” , However, I am not advocating, don’t visit OJ or play golf with
him in jail. Nor do I advocate, ‘Don’t send George money or buy his paintings
because they do have to make a living.

Another thing, that is problematic to me, when Jim says,
nobody seems to care about little black girls. This a problem across all lines,
black, white, brown, asian, rich or poor. Also, court cases are settled everyday in the USA, they are still legitimate.

anon
anon

I was a 15 year old girl, when I was backstage at an R Kelly concert at Wembley Arena, in London, UK and approached by one of his security guards who asked me if I wanted to 'go and help R Kelly get dressed'.....'YES' I screamed....this guy was one of my favourites, and I certainly didn't take that comment seriously.  I waited outside of his dressing room for 10 minutes I guess, the door opened, and a very flustered, very red faced young girl emerges, 'you can go in now'.  In I go, R Kelly is sitting on a sofa in a white towelling robe with sunglasses on, in front of him is placed a wooden chair, and he asks me to take a seat on it.  He then proceeds to tell me how sexy I am, how I am turning him on.....this goes on for some time.  I don't find the situation particularly comfortable, I am young, and don't feel particularly sexy.  So my responses are dismissive, 'I am sure you said that to the other girl who was in here', stuff like that.  He asks me to sit next to him on the sofa....at which point we kissed, and he opens his robe and he is naked underneath, and he tries to get me to masturbate him....again, I am not comfortable with the situation and so I don't do as he asks, and then he says he needs to get ready and go now, I am finished with.  He signs a poster for me "Be good to me, R Kelly", he gives me tickets and hospitality for the concert the next day...he also tells me the hotel he is staying in, the name he signs into the hotel with 'the Traveller'.....I call the hotel the next day, he asks me to go over....I don't.  I go to the concert the next day......I see his face backstage after the show...he doesn't acknowledge me.  It didn't effect me at the time, I loved R Kelly....I had just met my favourite singer....I was the luckiest girl in the world.  But now as a 36 year old, reading all this stuff, it is pretty nasty.  Not that it matters, but I was a young white female.

Matt Ornstein
Matt Ornstein

Is there a reason to recycle this now other than laziness?

Bill Fariello
Bill Fariello

The guy should be locked up...when Chris Rock has you in his comedy routine .... U know your a predator... He is a piece of shit

Bel Lopez
Bel Lopez

Child porn charges were dropped 15 years ago and he was never charged with rape, statutory or otherwise. So unless there are NEW allegations, why keep on rehashing ugly but more importantly unproven accusations?

Jane Kelly
Jane Kelly

This is six months old? Srsly, why do you guys do this? I'm hiding you from my news feed

godssoulsinger
godssoulsinger

I get really sick of the 'If it was a white girl...' Stabs, not necessary to the story. NOT TRUE. not where I live, I have seen girls of all ethnicities figured over by the court system over tape and serial abuse repeatedly throughout my life, most of them white. In fact most of the time they are ignoredor told to shut up, that they are overeacting, I know I was as well as many of my friends when they were raped, and it curdles my blood. Look in the same paragraph he states that R.Kelly probably kept it low because of who he is. That was telling and makes far more sense then throwing in the race card. Life fixing sucks for lot of ppl and being white v doesn't mean you can't be poor and or raped or molested nor does it mean you get justice, you usually don't. Rare is the day I see a pedophile, rapist, or abuser go to jail and when I do, I rejoice, but I have seen many get off simply b/c it is easier to settle, and cheaper, lawyers are giving expensive, period. There a lot of loopholes and the fact is, criminals know how to work then and normal ppl don't. :-(

davedavedave
davedavedave

what the fuck does this have to do with anything?

davedavedave
davedavedave

@Baalhabaalim Are you a fucking retard? Because then if it is covered up or the police are bribed, another copy is available to prove this man is a child rapist at large

thomasguariano
thomasguariano

@anon I ONLY HAVE ONE QUESTION WHY IN THE HELL DID YOU GO INTO HIS DRESSING ROOM THAT IN ITSELF IS PLAIN DUMB AND WHEN YOU SAW HIM ON THE SOFA IN HIS ROBE  WHY DID YOU NOT SCREAM FOR HELP I THINK YOU ARE MAKING THIS ALL UP I AM SURE HE IS A PERVERT SCUMBAG BUT IF YOU WERE IN THAT SITUATION THEN YOU ARE REAL DUMB WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL THE POLICE YA KNOW 911  THATS WHAT YOU DO WHEN SOME DIRT BAG IS ABOUT TO RAPE YOU I HOPE WHEN YOU GET MARRIED AND HAVE CHILDREN THAT YOU REMEMBER THIS ALLEGED EXPERIENCE AND WARN THEM ABOUT THE DANGERS OF BEING STUPID         T GUARIANO

davedavedave
davedavedave

cos he's a fucking child rapist at large you stupid prick

davedavedave
davedavedave

have you read any of this? Evidently not as you can see the trial happened in 2008 not 15 years ago. Jesus man on top of these allegations, including a video showing him in it pissing on a young girl, the guy even tried to marry a 15 year old Aaliyah without her parents knowledge. How fucking clear does it have to be you retard?

davedavedave
davedavedave

@godssoulsinger although I sympathise with your argument and agree that regardless of ethnicity rape victims often fail to see their attackers convicted, it also true that ethnic minorities are even more disadvantaged. If you have middle class parents you have a bigger chance of being heard. Yes, not all white people are middle class - I'm white and from a housing project - just saying that even fewer black women have a voice. let's hope this fucker gets what he deserved, seems like the tide is beginning to turn, let's see what happens with Cosby too

davedavedave
davedavedave

@DatGuyShiesty @gingst4h @LIVA_GOTTA at least try to make your comment legible. I'm not asking for perfect English but at least learn how to communicate

davedavedave
davedavedave

@thomasguariano @anon first of all, using caps lock doesn't make you right. Secondly, its easy to sit there as a confident no doubt adult male and say how you would react in that situation. Very difficult if you are a star struck teenage girl with little clue how predatory some men are.

davedavedave
davedavedave

@girlstoplying @anon I believe her. If it was bullshit don't you think she might have gone a lot further and said that he raped her? No, its a simple account of something that happened backstage, fortunately for her it didn't go too far. You are an asshole and pricks like you who know nothing about a situation, weren't there, yet feel entitled to comment on whether or not it is true are the reason so many rapists get away with it. Fucking stupid prick

siik
siik

@zeeohmara @sosupersam the shirts are about r&b, not scandals. if you disagree/can't accept that, i'm sorry if we've offended you.

sosupersam
sosupersam

@zeeohmara it is a blurry one. but there r other artists on the tshirt, so wouldnt go as far as to say we're championing rkelly as a person

sosupersam
sosupersam

@zeeohmara really glad you are addressing this bc i have read the article, and think about the line between personal character and artistry

sosupersam
sosupersam

@zeeohmara @siik have you seen the rest of the shirt, brandy is on it too should we remove her bc she is a murderer.

davedavedave
davedavedave

@siik @zeeohmara @sosupersam put gary glitter on there too why not? rnb albums with titles like age aint nothing but a number. Yu really think against this child porn backdrop with titles and lyrics like his you should be publicizing him? The guy is a multi millionaire who married a fucking 15 year old girl before being accused by dozens of other women. Additionally he let his brother go off the rails, not saying it was his fault but couldn't he have given him a helping hand, you know, drop him $1m or even $50k to turn his life around. He is bad to the bone, a likely sociopath and you guys are completely stupid for backing him. your support aides his image as a wholesome entertainer and makes it harder and scarier for young women to push for a conviction. have a look at yourselves

zeeohmara
zeeohmara

@siik @sosupersam again, thanks for the dialogue. have yet to hear a good reason to continue to support r. kelly but agree to disagree peace

zeeohmara
zeeohmara

@siik @sosupersam not offended, just over the blind eye to r.kelly's abusive existence bc he made some good tunes. thanks for responding tho

zeeohmara
zeeohmara

@sosupersam @siik hard channel to navigate i don't envy the job but bums me out to see consistent blind eye to the man's actions bc music

zeeohmara
zeeohmara

@sosupersam @siik IDK maybe as creative content curators there's a lot of responsibility about whom & what cultural ideas you propagate.

davedavedave
davedavedave

@zeeohmara @siik @sosupersam all of his music is utter shit. Ball-less whiney vibrato shit. He needs some hairs on his chest, singing like a fucking little boy whose balls haven't dropped

davedavedave
davedavedave

@zeeohmara @siik @sosupersam He hasn't made a single good tune. They are all fucking ball-less shit. he needs some fucking hairs on his chest. Whiney pop vibrato shit, an insult to the term 'soul music'


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