Documentary puts new attention on R. Kelly sex allegations
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 have sparked hope among some advocates that 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’s 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 may 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 has faced increased pressure from advocates who have protested outside of his Chicago studio and demanded that police investigate allegations against minors.
The latest attention comes 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 that the singer was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”
Activists from the #MeToo and #MuteRKelly social media movements have seized on the renewed attention to call for streaming services to censor Kelly’s music and promoters not to book any more concerts.