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An Abridged History : NPR

An Abridged History : NPR

R. Kelly, seen in July 2015 throughout a present at New York Style Week.

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Michael Loccisano/Getty Photographs

R. Kelly, seen in July 2015 throughout a present at New York Style Week.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Pictures

R. Kelly is not any stranger to unsettling allegations.

The R&B celebrity born Robert Kelly has ushered within the new yr dogged by a slew of damaging headlines — on this case, prompted by TV’s Surviving R. Kelly. However the roots of the broad case laid out by the six-part Lifetime docuseries, crammed as it’s with claims of abuse and statutory rape, date again a few quarter-century no less than.

Kelly has been the topic of investigations, indictments, lawsuits and disavowals — and thru all of it, he has asserted that he didn’t commit any wrongdoing.

What follows is an try to elucidate how 25 years of controversy led to this second. Not each notable date is included on this timeline. Particularly, the various lawsuits towards Kelly — starting within the mid-1990s and persevering with via the current day — have been unnoticed for the sake of readability.

Leap to the story behind a selected date by clicking it within the listing under, or just scroll down to start at first.

  • Aug. 31, 1994: R. Kelly, then 27 years previous, marries Aaliyah, then 15
  • Dec. 21, 2000: Chicago Solar-Occasions prints the primary allegations of intercourse with minors
  • Feb. eight, 2002: Chicago police reveal investigation into alleged youngster pornography
  • June 5, 2002: Kelly indicted on 21 counts of kid pornography
  • Might 9, 2008: Trial begins in Kelly’s case in Chicago
  • June 13, 2008: Kelly is acquitted on all counts
  • July 17, 2017: BuzzFeed publishes tales of girls in Kelly’s alleged “sex cult”
  • July 23, 2018: Kelly releases 19-minute track, “I Admit”
  • Oct. four, 2018: Kelly’s ex-wife accuses him of bodily abuse
  • Jan. three, 2019: Lifetime begins airing Surviving R. Kelly docuseries
  • After Surviving R. Kelly

Aug. 31, 1994

The wedding certificates, seen right here in a picture obtained by Chicago member station WBEZ, was issued by Prepare dinner County, Unwell., in 1994.

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The wedding certificates, seen right here in a picture obtained by Chicago member station WBEZ, was issued by Prepare dinner County, Unwell., in 1994.

WBEZ/Flickr

R. Kelly, then 27 years previous, briefly marries Aaliyah, then 15

The key ceremony in Chicago comes lower than a yr after R. Kelly’s debut solo album landed within the Billboard 200 — and fewer than six months after Kelly produced Aaliyah’s debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing however a Quantity.

That title would show apt: Because the journal Vibe revealed simply months later, the official Illinois wedding ceremony certificates falsified Aaliyah’s age, itemizing Kelly’s younger protégée as 18. (Demetrius Smith, a former tour supervisor and private assistant to R. Kelly, later informed the Surviving R. Kelly group that he had paperwork cast for the 2, and that Aaliyah seemed to be scared on the ceremony.)

Inside months the wedding is annulled, nevertheless it stays a topic of frequent questions — each for Aaliyah, who died in a aircraft crash in 2001, and for Kelly, who has described their relationship as “deep friends” however prevented commenting additional.

“Well, because of Aaliyah’s passing, as I’ve always said, out of respect for her mother who’s sick and her father who’s passed, I will never have that conversation with anyone. Out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father who has asked me not to personally,” he informed GQ in 2016. “But I can tell you I loved her, I can tell you she loved me, we was very close.”

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Dec. 21, 2000

R. Kelly performs on the Soul Practice Woman of Soul Awards in September 2000, simply three months earlier than the Chicago Solar-Occasions’ first article in what would turn out to be its almost 20 years of protection on the allegations (and counting).

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R. Kelly performs on the Soul Practice Woman of Soul Awards in September 2000, simply three months earlier than the Chicago Solar-Occasions’ first article in what would develop into its almost 20 years of protection on the allegations (and counting).

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Chicago Solar-Occasions prints the primary allegations of intercourse with minors

The singer is about to show 33 when Solar-Occasions reporters Jim DeRogatis and Abdon M. Pallasch publish a narrative alleging that Kelly was utilizing his fame to satisfy women as younger as 15 years previous after which coerce them into having intercourse with him. No less than two of these women say that they met him at Kenwood Academy, a public highschool on Chicago’s South Aspect that Kelly had attended earlier than dropping out, and the place he’s alleged to have returned many times to select up younger ladies.

Based on the Solar-Occasions, Chicago police have by this level investigated Kelly twice on suspicion of getting intercourse with an underage woman, however dropped pursuit as a result of the woman wouldn’t cooperate. The article additionally notes, “Kelly is hardly the first celebrity to be accused of taking advantage of underage girls. Gary Glitter, Rob Lowe, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roman Polanski, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and even the legendary Errol Flynn all have been written about in this paper and others for allegedly having trysts with minors.”

The Solar-Occasions report is revealed inside weeks of Kelly — who has already bought greater than 20 million albums — releasing his fifth album, TP-2.com, which has gone to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

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Feb. eight, 2002

R. Kelly performs on the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah. That exact same day, Feb. eight, Chicago police revealed their investigation into allegations that the singer had filmed himself having sexual relations with an underage woman.

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R. Kelly performs on the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah. That exact same day, Feb. eight, Chicago police revealed their investigation into allegations that the singer had filmed himself having sexual relations with an underage woman.

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Photographs

Chicago police reveal investigation into alleged baby pornography

Draped in a star-spangled gown, surrounded by tens of hundreds of screaming followers, R. Kelly seems to be hitting a excessive observe in his profession: performing as a part of the opening ceremony for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Metropolis.

The exact same day, greater than 1,000 miles away, issues start heading in a really totally different course for the singer, as Chicago police reveal they’ve opened an investigation into an roughly three-year-old videotape that purports to point out him having intercourse and interesting in quite a lot of lewd acts with an underage woman. (Regardless of the alleged age of the woman within the video, Kelly wouldn’t be charged with statutory rape.)

Kelly shortly and vehemently denies that it’s him within the video, which seems to point out him with a woman who would have been in her early teenagers on the time of the filming. The video had been despatched anonymously to the Chicago Solar-Occasions, which had revealed baby intercourse allegations towards the singer almost two years earlier.

“It’s crap, and that’s how we’re going to treat it,” Kelly says in an interview held with an area TV station held earlier than his Olympic efficiency.

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June 5, 2002

R. Kelly listens as Decide Karla Wright units his bail on the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, Fla., in June 2002. Kelly was arrested at his Florida house after Chicago police positioned his arrest warrant on the nationwide crime database.

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R. Kelly listens as Decide Karla Wright units his bail on the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, Fla., in June 2002. Kelly was arrested at his Florida residence after Chicago police positioned his arrest warrant on the nationwide crime database.

George McGinn/Getty Photographs

Kelly indicted on 21 counts of kid pornography

Simply 4 months after the Solar-Occasions revealed the police probe, R. Kelly finds himself in handcuffs outdoors his vacation house in Florida.

A grand jury in Prepare dinner County, Sick., has indicted Kelly on 21 counts of kid pornography associated to the videotape. The fees embrace seven counts every of directing the taping, producing the video and engaging the underage woman into performing illicit acts.

“Sexual predators are a scourge on society,” Prepare dinner County State’s Lawyer Richard Devine says in a press release launched on June 5. “This indictment should send a clear message that illicit acts with minor children will not be tolerated in the community.” At some point later, Kelly is formally charged in a Florida courtroom.

That state would additionally cost Kelly with a further 12 counts of making youngster pornography, alleging that in his arrest, police discovered a digital camera with new pictures displaying intercourse with an underage woman. These expenses can be dropped after a decide discovered that the digital camera was improperly seized. Seven of the unique 21 costs in Chicago would additionally ultimately be dropped in 2004, after prosecutors acknowledged these counts pertained to a regulation that wasn’t handed till after the alleged taping.

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Might 9, 2008

An artist’s rendering exhibits R. Kelly watching in courtroom as prosecutors play the intercourse tape on the middle of his 2008 baby pornography trial in Chicago, simply hours after opening statements during which they accused the R&B singer of choreographing and starring within the footage with an underage woman.

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An artist’s rendering exhibits R. Kelly watching in courtroom as prosecutors play the intercourse tape on the middle of his 2008 youngster pornography trial in Chicago, simply hours after opening statements by which they accused the R&B singer of choreographing and starring within the footage with an underage woman.

Lou Chukman/AP

Trial begins in Kelly’s case in Chicago

After posting bail in 2002, Kelly spends the subsequent six years persevering with to carry out as his legal professionals wrangle with prosecutors on his behalf. Throughout this stretch, he continues headlining tour stops and recording new music — even snagging seven Grammy nominations. Greater than half a decade passes earlier than his trial begins.

“The case has dragged on for seemingly bizarre reasons,” Time journal reporter Steven Grey defined to NPR in 2008. “Just last December, R. Kelly failed to make a scheduled court appearance because his tour bus was stopped speeding by Utah authorities, and he couldn’t make it to court the next day. One time, Judge Gaughan, the presiding judge, he fell off a ladder and hurt himself so he was out for a while. Another time, one of the prosecutors had a baby, so that also caused some postponement.”

The trial begins in late spring. If convicted on all costs, Kelly faces the prospect of 15 years in jail.

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June 13, 2008

R. Kelly leaves the Prepare dinner County Legal Courtroom in Chicago on June 13, 2008, greeting supporters and onlookers after a jury discovered him not responsible on all counts in his baby pornography trial.

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R. Kelly leaves the Prepare dinner County Legal Courtroom in Chicago on June 13, 2008, greeting supporters and onlookers after a jury discovered him not responsible on all counts in his baby pornography trial.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

Kelly is acquitted on all counts

Arguments in courtroom take about three weeks. The protection asserts that it’s neither Kelly nor the alleged sufferer who seem within the tape. Though a number of witnesses determine the younger woman on the tape — together with relations, pals and a basketball coach — neither the woman nor her mother and father testify.

“That’s another thing that the defense is arguing: that, ‘Look, this is all about money and extortion. The family never went to the police and there was an aunt who was a police officer. They went to a lawyer for money,’ ” WBEZ’s Natalie Moore recounts after closing arguments.

The jury spends lower than a day in deliberations earlier than returning its verdict: not responsible. Kelly walks out of the Chicago courtroom a free man, sliding silently into his automotive as supporters cheer round him. (Certainly one of his later alleged victims, Jerhonda Tempo, says she met the singer at the moment, when she was in her mid-teens, having skipped faculty to help him at courtroom.)

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July 17, 2017

R. Kelly performs at Bass Live performance Corridor on March three, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

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R. Kelly performs at Bass Live performance Corridor on March three, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

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BuzzFeed publishes tales of girls in Kelly’s alleged “sex cult”

Written by Chicago reporter Jim DeRogatis — who has at this level been engaged on tales relating to R. Kelly-related allegations for the higher a part of 20 years — the BuzzFeed investigation highlights the anguish of the mother and father of 1 younger lady, “J.” They allege that their daughter, aged 19 when she met Kelly, has been drawn right into a “cult” of girls dwelling with and completely managed by the singer.

DeRogatis consists of corroborative particulars from three ladies who knew Kelly nicely: Cheryl Mack, who labored for a few yr and a half as a private assistant for the singer starting in 2013, in addition to Kitti Jones and Asante McGee, two of Kelly’s ex-girlfriends who each lived with Kelly within the alleged “cult.”

These three ladies say that on the time the BuzzFeed article was revealed, six ladies lived with Kelly in Chicago and the suburbs of Atlanta, and that Kelly “controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.” Jones additionally says that Kelly beat her. (Each Jones and McGee later seem within the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries and elaborate upon their earlier allegations. Jones was 33 when she met Kelly; McGee was 35.)

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July 23, 2018

Kelly releases 19-minute track, “I Admit”

He admits nothing.

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Oct. four, 2018

Kelly’s ex-wife accuses him of bodily abuse

Andrea Kelly on the 21st Annual Soul Practice Music Awards, held on the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 10, 2007 in Pasadena, Calif.

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Andrea Kelly on the 21st Annual Soul Practice Music Awards, held on the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 10, 2007 in Pasadena, Calif.

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Andrea Kelly, who met R. Kelly when she was 19, was married to him from 1996 to 2009. She seems on the daytime speak present The View to allege that he abused her bodily on a number of events, together with choking her. She filed for a restraining order in 2005, and alleges that he had hit her when she requested for a divorce. She additionally says that she thought-about suicide.

In accordance with Andrea Kelly, she and the singer have been already dwelling aside by the point he stood trial in Chicago. She tells The View her impetus to return ahead publicly was listening to one other lady make allegations on one other present — explaining that the lady appeared to be talking of her ex-husband with out utilizing his identify, because the accusations appeared to reflect her personal historical past with Kelly: “Some of the specific things she described in detail, I had been through, I mean, verbatim.” (Andrea Kelly additionally seems in Surviving R. Kelly.)

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Jan. three, 2019

Kitti Jones, a former girlfriend of the singer, tells her story in Surviving R. Kelly. Jones first got here ahead together with her allegations in an interview with Rolling Stone in October 2018.

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Courtesy of Lifetime

Kitti Jones, a former girlfriend of the singer, tells her story in Surviving R. Kelly. Jones first got here ahead together with her allegations in an interview with Rolling Stone in October 2018.

Courtesy of Lifetime

Lifetime begins airing Surviving R. Kelly docuseries

Constructing on the reporting achieved by DeRogatis and others, producers of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries converse to greater than 50 interviewees — together with two of Kelly’s siblings, his ex-wife, former staff and mentees, journalists, psychologists and a number of other of his accusers — in a survey of allegations towards Kelly courting again to the early 1990s and persevering with to the current. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans writes, “All of the women who say in the docuseries that they were abused by Kelly have previously made public allegations against the singer, but Surviving R. Kelly’s power comes in hearing their stories told on camera, and all together.”

In early December, a few month earlier than the collection begins airing, a preview screening of this system and panel dialogue that includes a number of of Kelly’s accusers in Manhattan is evacuated after a number of nameless threats are referred to as in to the venue.

Probability the Rapper seems within the collection’ ultimate episode, and apologizes for having labored with R. Kelly on a number of events in recent times, regardless of the widespread information of the accusations towards the singer. After the collection begins airing, Probability elaborates on Twitter: “The truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls. I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”

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After Surviving R. Kelly

A demonstrator holds up an indication studying “#MuteRKelly” at a protest outdoors the singer’s Chicago studio in January 2019, simply days after the discharge of the Lifetime mini-series Surviving R. Kelly.

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A demonstrator holds up an indication studying “#MuteRKelly” at a protest outdoors the singer’s Chicago studio in January 2019, simply days after the discharge of the Lifetime mini-series Surviving R. Kelly.

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Public strain continues to mount towards Kelly, although he has stored an ardently loyal fan base in some quarters. He has upcoming efficiency dates scheduled; his music continues to be performed on radio stations and seems on streaming providers; and he maintains his recording cope with RCA Data, which is owned by Sony Music Leisure.

On Jan. eight, Kim Foxx, the state lawyer of Prepare dinner County in Illinois, holds a press convention to ask attainable victims of home violence or sexual assault by the singer to return ahead in order that her workplace can begin an investigation. CBS2 in Chicago studies that Foxx says of the collection, “I was sickened by the allegations. I was sickened as a survivor. I was sickened as a mother. I’m sickened as a prosecutor.” (Moreover, there are unconfirmed reviews that Fulton County in Georgia is opening its personal investigation.)

On Jan. 9, activists collect outdoors Kelly’s Chicago studio to protest and urge prosecutors to research the singer within the wake of Surviving R. Kelly.

Additionally this week, the Chicago Solar-Occasions studies that at the least two ladies have contacted Foxx’s workplace with complaints relating to Kelly since she made her attraction. Pop star Woman Gaga publicly apologizes by way of Twitter for having made a 2013 duet with R. Kelly, referred to as “Do What U Want” (the refrain goes, “Do what you want with my body”). She writes, partially:

“I stand behind these women [in the docuseries] 1000% percent. … As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life. … I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”

On Jan. 10, Kelly’s estranged daughter, Buku Abi (whose given identify is JoAnn Kelly) posts a prolonged word to her Instagram tales responding to the docuseries, by which she calls her father a “monster.”

“Devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” she writes partially. “I pray for all the families & woman [sic] who have been affected by my father’s actions. … It has been years since my siblings and I have seen and or have spoken to him. … My mother, siblings, and I would never condone, support or be apart [sic] of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life. Going through all I have gone through in my life, I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt. .. The same monster you all confronting [sic] me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is.”

Buku Abi’s Instagram story denouncing her father, R. Kelly.

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