Just how far was R. Kelly willing to go in his attempt to clear his name during his infamous child pornography trial in 2000s?
Of the many shocking claims detailed in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” docu-series, one that sticks out is R. Kelly’s older brother Bruce Kelly’s claim that R. Kelly (whose birth name is Robert Kelly) tried to bribe their younger brother Carey during the superstar's child pornography scandal.
In an attempt to clear R. Kelly’s name in the midst of controversy, Kelly’s legal team suggested that it was actually his brother Carey who was caught on tape having sex with an underage girl. Carey responded by publicly denying it, and hit back at his brother by suggesting that R. Kelly was a pedophile — claims that Carey seemed to backtrack on during his appearance in the Lifetime docu-series, saying that he actually had “no knowledge” of any such thing.
But apparently, that wasn't the end of the story.
Bruce, who is currently in a Chicago jail for theft, burglary, and other charges, told Lifetime’s producers that R. Kelly offered their brother Carey a record deal and six figures' worth of money to take back the things he’d said about R.Kelly being a pedophile.
“Robert simply asked Carey to tell the truth,” Bruce said. “Do a deposition with his attorneys that the things that he was saying was not true. And he said, ‘If you do this deposition with my attorneys, I will give you $100,000 and a one-record contract deal.’”
Carey reportedly turned down his famous brother’s offer, a decision that Bruce seemed to still be questioning all these years later.
“I’ll never understand that as long as I live,” he said. “You could’ve been rich. I’ll never understand that.”
While Carey himself did not address why he chose not to do the deposition, he did reflect on just how badly his brother’s claims hurt him. His children were allegedly bullied in school over his rumored connection to the tape, and Carey pointed to that as the reason he went after R. Kelly.
“He never said it out of his mouth, but his legal team did, so I had to speak out to defend myself, my character, and so I did,” Carey said.
In interviews with various outlets in the mid-2000s, Carey painted a different picture of the alleged $100,000 offer. He told MTV News in 2006 that R. Kelly actually offered him not only money and a record deal, but a house, too (he was reportedly homeless at the time), if he signed a statement proclaiming that he was the one on the sex tape, essentially taking the fall for R. Kelly.
“I wasn’t willing to sell my soul for a house. I got a house, a car, and a record deal, but I’m in jail? It don’t add up,” he said. “He could have offered me $10 million, $20 million, $100 million, and I would never had done it because what am I going to explain to my kids? ‘I’m in jail for what someone else did because it’s the ‘hood and I got to be loyal?' I’m not stupid.”
Carey had previously disclosed the alleged deal during an interview with Drahma Magazine that was released on DVD, commenting, “Since I couldn’t lie for him in a court of law, we’re back to beefing again, and we ain’t brothers no more.” He also accused R. Kelly of molesting or attempting to molest multiple underage girls in their family, and of keeping his bisexuality a secret.
A representative from R. Kelly’s camp denied Carey’s claims to MTV News, remarking, “This is not the first time Carey has made ridiculous accusations against his brother. We’re not going to dignify them with a comment.”
It seems that the relationship between R. Kelly and Carey is one that has frequently been fraught with bad blood. Carey revealed during Lifetime’s documentary that he was sexually abused as a child by a family member, and claimed R. Kelly was as well. When he allegedly tried to tell R.Kelly about what had happened — as a way of working up the courage to tell their mother — he claimed R. Kelly failed to support him, and that he was so disheartened by his brother's reaction that he did not tell an adult.
Most recently, Carey publicly threw shots at his brother following the release of R. Kelly’s “I Admit” last year, a 19-minute song during which R.Kelly condescendingly addresses the various accusations that have been made against him. R. Kelly’s song mentioned his ongoing feud with his brothers, and Carey released a diss track in response the following month, accusing his brother of spreading STDs and having sex with men, among other things.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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