As we know, R. Kelly left his mark on the music industry. Robert Sylvester Kelly, of his real name, has had a series of hits and won awards after awards at the ceremonies. But that was before he had serious problems with American justice. The first doubts date back to the 90s. At the time, the 27-year-old R’n’B star married singer Aaliyah, twelve years her junior. A union that was quickly canceled at the request of the parents of the young woman, who has since died in a plane crash. In 2002, the artist was indicted for filming his antics with a 14-year-old girl. Six years later, the case was dismissed, the justice had failed to prove that it was a minor on the images. Throughout his career, the singer has never been really worried but things quickly changed, under the impetus of the #MeToo movement launched in 2017.
In early 2019, the shocking documentary Surviving R. Kelly aired on Lifetime. According to several accounts, the artist would have sequestered six young women reduced to the state of sex slaves in his homes in Chicago and Atlanta. Justice, therefore, seized the case and the singer surrendered himself to the authorities in Chicago in February. He was charged with ten counts of sexual abuse out of four alleged victims, three of whom were minors at the time of the crime. He allegedly committed these assaults between 1998 and 2010. New evidence has been added to the file, namely a video showing the interpreter of “I Believe I Can Fly”have sex with a 14-year-old teenager. Other tapes proving his guilt were reportedly discovered and presented to the Cook County prosecutor. The star was finally released from prison after paying her $ 100,000 bond.
Shortly after these damning revelations, R. Kelly vehemently defended himself from being a sexual predator during an interview on CBS. In vain. The singer was arrested again by Chicago police in July and faces 13 charges including embezzlement of minors, obstruction of justice, and possession of child pornography. An investigation was also opened in Brooklyn (New York) for which the artist is targeted by charges of racketeering and sex trafficking. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. Pending his sentence, the interpreter of “Ignition” is currently imprisoned at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the federal prison of Chicago. Trying incarceration. And yet, R. Kelly was beaten in his cell by a fellow inmate, all his requests for release on bail with an electronic bracelet were rejected.
You will understand that R. Kelly quickly became persona non grata in Hollywood. Everyone started to boycott him. His wife notably left him. His record company Sony Music broke his contract and several artists such as Lady Gaga, Chance The Rapper, or Celine Dion have withdrawn their duets recorded with the star on streaming platforms. On social networks, the hashtag #MuteRKelly [Silence R. Kelly in French] quickly went viral. Today, the fallen singer is at risk of a heavy prison sentence. Indeed, he faces life imprisonment behind bars if he is found guilty of these crimes. Moreover, for the charges against him in New York, the trial which was to take place in July has been postponed until next September. Concerning the Chicago accusations, the date of the judgment has been set for October 13, 2020. To be continued, therefore.