Documentary puts new attention on Kelly
Prosecutor asks for victims of sexual allegations to speak
R. Kelly, one of the top-selling recording artists of all time, has been dogged for years by allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls — accusations he and his attorneys have long denied.
But an Illinois prosecutor’s plea for potential victims and witnesses to come forward and new protests that have sparked hope among some advocates the R&B star might face criminal charges.
“Please come forward. There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without cooperation between victims and witnesses,” Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx said Tuesday at a news conference in Chicago. “We cannot seek justice without you.”
Still, some legal experts and prosecutors say it might be difficult to bring charges.
Accusers and witnesses would have to speak out, and even then, prosecutors could have a hard time winning a conviction.
In recent days, Kelly, 52, has faced increased pressure from advocates who have protested outside of his Chicago studio and demanded police investigate allegations against minors.
The latest suspicions come days after Lifetime aired the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which revisited old allegations and brought new ones into the spotlight.
The series follows the BBC’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes,” which was released last year. It alleged the singer was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”
Activists from the (hash)MeToo and #MuteRKelly social media movements have seized on the renewed attention to call for streaming services to drop Kelly’s music and promoters not to book concerts.
Despite the accusations that span decades, the star singer, songwriter and producer who rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side has retained a sizable following.
He has not only written numerous hits for himself but for other artists including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.
On Thursday, Lady Gaga said she is sorry for her 2013 duet with Kelly in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against the singer, and she intends to remove the song from streaming services.
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” she said.
Lady Gaga says she is sorry for her 2013 duet with R. Kelly and intends to remove the song from streaming services.