Robert Kelly, popularly known as R. Kelly, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in numerous sex crime allegations, starting with his illegal and eventually nullified marriage to 15-year-old music artist Aaliyah in 1994. In the last 1990s, he was arrested for child pornography, and, more recently, accused of hosting an abusive sex cult where he forced his female sexual partners to be under his harsh control within his house.
R. Kelly and Media
While rumors of R. Kelly’s abuse have been a sort of open secret in the music industry, the allegations have taken on new life amidst the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement. Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” a documentary series that aired in 2019, garnered huge rates and turned attention to years of Kelly’s sexual misconduct allegations. The #MuteRKellymovement has grown, and Sony Music dropped the singer from his label. The artist continues to reject the sexual abuse charges, notably behind tears in his interview with Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” in March 2019. He believes social media is to blame for all of the allegations against him.
While awaiting trial on sexual abuse charges, Kelly was incarcerated in a Chicago jail until a “friend” posted his $100,000 bail allowing him to walk free. The bond the judge set for Kelly was $1 million, regarding 10 counts of alleged aggravated sexual abuse. He was briefly jailed again for outstanding child support, but an unknown donor paid the debt in full and Kelly was released. Kelly and his attorney additionally failed to appear in court for one of the sex abuse lawsuits; a judge ruled in favor of the victim on April 23. However, that ruling has since been vacated.