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WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: The "Stomach-Churning" Sexual Assault Accusations Against R. Kelly

Source:  Jessica Hopper / The Village Voice 

It has been nearly 15 years since music journalist Jim DeRogatis caught the story that has since defined his career, one that he wishes didn’t exist: R. Kelly’s sexual predation on teenage girls. DeRogatis, at that time the pop-music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, was anonymously delivered the first of two videos he would receive depicting the pop star engaging in sexual acts with underage girls. Now the host of the syndicated public radio show Sound Opinions and a professor at Columbia College, DeRogatis, along with his former Sun-Times colleague Abdon Pallasch, didn’t just break the story, they did the only significant reporting on the accusations against Kelly, interviewing hundreds of people over the years, including dozens of young women whose lives DeRogatis says were ruined by the singer.

One young woman, who had been 14 or 15 when R. Kelly began a relationship with her, detailed in great length, in her affidavits, a sexual relationship that began at Kenwood Academy: He would go back in the early years of his success and go to Lina McLin’s gospel choir class. She’s a legend in Chicago, gospel royalty. He would go to her sophomore class and hook up with girls afterward and have sex with them. Sometimes buy them a pair of sneakers. Sometimes just letting them hang out in his presence in the recording studio. She detailed the sexual relationship that she was scarred by. It lasted about one and a half to two years, and then he dumped her and she slit her wrists, tried to kill herself. Other girls were involved. She recruited other girls. He picked up other girls and made them all have sex together. A level of specificity that was pretty disgusting.

Her lawsuit was hundreds of pages long, and Kelly countersued. The countersuit was, like, 10 pages long: “None of this is true!” We began our reporting. We knocked on a lot of doors. The lawsuits, the two that we had found initially, had been settled. Kelly had paid the women and their families money and the settlements were sealed by the court. But of course, the initial lawsuits remain part of the public record.

There was another young woman that he picked up on the evening of her prom. The relationship lasted a year and a half or two years. Impregnated her, paid for her abortion, had his goons drive her. None of which she wanted. She sued him. The saddest fact I’ve learned is: Nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody. They have any complaint about the way they are treated: they are “bitches, hos, and gold diggers,” plain and simple. Kelly never misbehaved with a single white girl who sued him or that we know of. Mark Anthony Neal, the African-American scholar, makes this point : one white girl in Winnetka and the story would have been different.
To read this article in its entirety visit The Village Voice.
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  • Chan Brownie

    This part is so true If this had been a white girl in Winnetka and the story would have been different. There would be a different outcome for R. Kelly. I don’t know if this story is true. But, Why is it that black women are treated with so much hatred and malious by our BLACK men? SAD.

    • Sunny

      Because during slavery, slave owners could do as they pleased to us and with us… while WHITE WOMEN were off limits, black men could be killed if they stared too long, And if a white woman bared a black child she was then made a slave herself. WHITE WOMEN were unconsciously made a prize possession in the eyes of black men by white men.

    • Sunny

      Because during slavery, slave owners could do as they pleased to us and with us… while WHITE WOMEN were off limits, black men could be killed if they stared too long, And if a white woman bared a black child she was then made a slave herself. WHITE WOMEN were unconsciously made a prize possession in the eyes of black men by white men.

    • Pennylane22

      If this had been a white girl in Winnetka or anywhere else, her parents would not have accepted “hush money”. That is the difference. So if we want black women to be treated more like they are worth something, it starts in the home, by their mother and father. Not saying RKelly or any pedophile is excused for their terrible criminal behavior, but lets also look at all the circumstances.

  • Xavier

    R. Kelly has never been convicted of any crimes. #TeamKellz

    • Steven Tilmon

      A lot of people don’t, with the right connections.

  • Adrienne

    bullshit….I see all of this as “poor parenting”!! Do your job people! Began working with your daughters on self respect, self esteem from the cradle. IF his actions were so appalling WHY did they settle. Lets discuss something more CURRENT!!!

    • Mercedes Simpson

      Thank you, I totally agree and you had a relatiosnhip with this man for 2 years??? At 15 you’re no baby anymore, I’m sure if any of this were true, she told her friends and it was a bragging conversation. It says she recruited her friends so why is this an issue again??? Where were these girls parents, mother, father hellooooo…

      • Adrienne

        Right!! Sooooo, why are they talking about this old azz story? Still smearing his name across social media why the girls (now females) and their parents are living in homes and driving around in their Mercedes (ha)…all purchased from the settlement monies.

      • Celeste Harrell

        She may not be a baby by the standards of common thinking. However, based on the law she is still a minor. Because she is a minor she can not consent to adult behavior. Someone ought to have been responsible for her conduct, her whereabouts, and who she was hanging around.

    • meknowsyou

      It’s not always mom and dad’s fault. A grown man talking to a 14 – 15 year old. A man who’s a star and has all those promises for them. While man and dad are working hard to buy them new sneakers and all the latest fashions he’s making them happen. And knows full well what he’s doing. R. Kelly is nothing more than a pedophile. I don’t care how much his fans think otherwise. And if you have a daughter in the age range of the one’s he likes , would you let him near them for 1 second? If so you are that parent that you speak of.

      • Adrienne

        This is what I know based on what is written…A 15 year old DATED a man for nearly 2 years. We both know that he showered her with lavish gifts (and money for recruiting others)…did the parents not realize that she had items (cloths, shoes, money, etc) that they had not provided her with. I would have immediately noticed it!!!! “Immediately”!! Were they asking questions, “snooping” through her room looking for clues….That is exactly what I would have been doing IF I had a daughter!! When I saw things in either of my sons possession that I had not purchased I asked question, after question….They called it Noisy…I called it “a concerned and hands on parent”….By the way, today they are both college educated men (black too).

      • Adrienne

        This is what I know based on what is written…A 15 year old DATED a man for nearly 2 years. We both know that he showered her with lavish gifts (and money for recruiting others)…did the parents not realize that she had items (cloths, shoes, money, etc) that they had not provided her with. I would have immediately noticed it!!!! “Immediately”!! Were they asking questions, “snooping” through her room looking for clues….That is exactly what I would have been doing IF I had a daughter!! When I saw things in either of my sons possession that I had not purchased I asked question, after question….They called it Noisy…I called it “a concerned and hands on parent”….By the way, today they are both college educated men (black too).

  • Tamba

    If black men started treating their women better , the society will end up being strong!! this implies to Africa too

    • zeppyled

      Really? Why throw black men under the bus? Check your age of consent for different countries. Also, there are certain segments of our country where folks have historically had relations with “young women.” Does the name Jerry Lee Lewis ring any bells?

    • Chuck

      You sound like a real bitter nut job. What does being a black man have anything to do with R. Kelly?

  • Jay

    I don’t care how much money he has, if he was this monster people are branding him has, he’d be in jail. Money or no money. He’d be in jail. Does he has sins? Looks like it but guess what? So do all of us. I’m not saying that what he did was cool if he did it. I’m saying is that with the laws and the law enforcement that we have today, he’d be in jail.

    • Steven Tilmon

      I agree! Does the Lord judge the parents too for taking the $$$ instead of pushing the jail issue if he really did these vile things??? I’d have to say YES!

  • vonne

    My question in all of this would be where are the parents? This can only go on if the parents either don’t care or know and getting something out of it. This is what is wrong in the African American community. We want to throw a rock but then hide our hands and be quite don’t snitch. We have got to do better my people. If the parents weren’t so money hungry and cared about their children then maybe he would be locked up. SMDH

    • Jaymes

      Not true! Unfortunately, that is not true at all.

  • Concerned

    If these accusations are true, and I’m sure many people have heard the infamous tales of R. Kelly at high schools all over the Chicago area, I understand where you all are coming from with placing responsibility on the parents. But I want to be clear that you all are perpetuating this idea that children, yes even teenagers, can be preyed on by older, handsome, successful individuals and that it is somehow their fault. Please! Children, yes teenagers, are easily persuaded and manipulated, and no, they are not adults or “grown” enough to know. But you better believe a grown man should know between right and wrong, and he is to adhere to the laws of the society he lives. No, money talks in this country, even where “justice” is concerned. Yes, parents are responsible for their children, but please don’t forget that there is a perpetrator of these supposed crimes and he alone chose to commit these crimes himself. Stop blaming the victims all the time. Stop hating black women so much. Start loving and talking to the children to prevent this from happening. (*i am in no way implying that R. Kelly actually performed these acts, I wouldn’t know personally, but hypothetically speaking this situation applies to any male who has perpetuated these horrible acts against young girls. Again, I’m not saying R. Kelly did it)

  • LIONEL

    Food 4 Thought? Parents have more authority to prosecute an accused pedophile than the child does do to custodial liabilities; so why haven’t this happened in R. Kelly’s case??? Do the parents of R. Kelly accusers just want to be fare in their prosecution of R. Kelly do to the awareness of their teen daughters prior indiscretions with other adult men before R. Kelly??? Do most of us at one point or another bare witness to R. Kelly’s in our communities who prey on underage girls but refuse to report it do to the nature of men who are doing the preying i.e. drug dealer, gangsters, friends or love ones? Are older men who prey on younger women patient pedophiles???

  • Pennylane22

    My question is this: Where was all this OUTRAGE and DISGUST when he released the LoveLetter CD in 2010 and Write Me Back CD after that? Why is it now he is such a monster, but it was not so bad in 2010? Curious, and btw I am not saying I am supporting him or his behavior, but just wondering what is it this time that is making everyone up in arms.

  • http://hellomonica.com/ HelloMonica.com

    #ByeFelicia You are 11 years L A T E.

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