It wasn’t possible to tour R Kelly in the mid-1990s. The songwriter and producer has helped great musicians such as Michael Jackson, his sister Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston achieve worldwide success. With hits such as ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ and ‘Ignition’, R Kelly has especially won the hearts of young African-American girls.
However, he has been charged with compelling several young girls to have sex in front of school, at a shopping mall or after a concert, making them wish to have sex and making them obey. tile. His team members are also accused of being involved in the repeated and systematic procurement of girls who had intimidated and forced sex.
R Kelly denies the charges.
Allegations of abuse of the 54-year-old musician have been going on for more than 25 years. He is even said to have practiced sex worship. In 2008, he was charged with making child pornography. However, the case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
In other cases, the R&B star reached an out-of-court settlement with the plaintiff. Now Robert Sylvester Kelly is on trial again. And it looks like he won’t be able to get off the hook so easily this time around. The opening remarks will be heard on August 18, 2021.
Some of the six victims at the center of the trial were minors at the time of the incident. Prosecutors also decided to hear from about 15 other witnesses who allege they had been sexually or physically abused, tortured, or threatened by R Kelly.
Bob Dylan denies allegations of sexual assault on 12-year-old child in 1965
Main Witness: late singer Aaliyah
The trial also focuses on her relationship with the late singer Aaliyah (aka Babygirl). In 1993, Kelly took her, then 14, to produce her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. In the ballad of the same name, written by Kelly, Aaliyah sings about a young girl who dreams of an older lover. The album was released in May 1994, and by the time there were already rumors circulating that Kelly was not a mentor to a minor singer.
This speculation was confirmed when MTV released the marriage certificates of the two musicians. According to the indictment, Kelly paid an Illinois state official to get a fake ID so Aaliyah could marry a 15-year-old girl. When her parents found out that they were married, they immediately annulled the marriage. Aaliyah, identified in court documents as Jane Doe #1, died in a plane crash in 2001 and is posthumously serving as a key witness in the new R Kelly trial.
Rules, not exceptions
Kathy Iandoli, author of the biography of Aaliyah, told AFP that Aaliyah’s case is “one of many.” “When the trial happens, you’ll see how she was the rule and not the exception,” she added.
“For the first time, marriage looks like it’s original, it’s a very violent piece of the puzzle,” Iandoli said, adding that the union has long “made it look like a disinfected and cute love story.”
Al Kelly’s status, which has been popular for more than a decade since her acquittal in 2008, changed rapidly after the Lifetime documentary series aired.
Surviving R. Kelly
Filmmaker Dream Hampton learned of a boycott call from the #MuteRKelly organization, which has been going on for two years on social media. Hampton got John Legend and Wendy Williams on camera to talk about allegations of abuse.
The detailed descriptions of the survivors about their experiences were particularly memorable. One of Kelly’s backing singers described how his second ex-wife, Andrea Kelly (née Lee), had to get permission from her husband whenever he wanted to leave the room.
Another recalled Kelly having sex with an underage girl in her studio in front of everyone.
American presenter Kitti Jones spoke about how Kelly tried to ruin herself and other women. Other witnesses recalled violent hyperactivity and forced group sex. The image that comes to mind is that of an unscrupulous, ruthless man who sexually exploits women and has so far fled from them.
“Activists, mostly black women, have been calling for his accountability for decades,” Keniet Barnes, co-founder of the #MuteRKelly movement, told AFP. She believes Kelly’s innocence can be attributed to his fame, but the silence of the victims (usually black women).
Since the last trial, the #MeToo movement has changed perceptions of abuse, and this time, fame and money will not protect him.
Kelly awaits trial in prison
Kelly and his management deny the charges, calling the accusers “troublesome and liars” seeking “profit and fame.”
On the other hand, the prosecution took this seriously and urged possible witnesses and victims to come out. half a year later
Surviving R. Kelly
R&B artist arrested for walking his dog in Chicago.
The trial was scheduled to begin in New York City in 2020, but was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grammy award winners will also be tried in Illinois and Minnesota. If he is found guilty, R Kelly could face decades in prison.
This article was translated from German by Dagmar Breitenbach.
Text and photos: DW News
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