For over two decades, allegations and rumors have swirled around R. Kelly. He’s been accused of running a “sex cult,” and grooming young teenage girls for sexual relationships. While by now most people know about the claims against R. Kelly, a new BBC documentary may finally see the R&B singer punished. At the very least, his lawyer, publicist and assistant have all left him.
At the end of last month, BBC3 aired R. Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes. In the film, journalist Ben Zand looks at the allegations against Kelly. The documentary even included an interview with Kitti Jones, Kelly’s former girlfriend. Jones confirms she was part of the “sex dungeon,” and was forced to have sex with him and others on “more than 10” occasions.
Jones also said Kelly told her he was “training” a 14-year-old girl to be one of his “pets.” She said, “I saw that this girl was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I’d say, and her mannerisms were like mine. That’s when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets, too. He calls them his pets.”
Kelly denies these claims. However, Kelly has been in court before; in 2008, he was acquitted on child pornography charges, accused of making a 27-minute sex tape with an underage girl. When the case went to trial, however, the jury ruled they couldn’t conclusively identify the girl to determine if she was, in fact, underage.
However, when the tape was originally sent to Chicago reporter Jim DeRogatis, who had been working on the R. Kelly story since 2000, his article in the Chicago Sun-Times identified the girl as a 14-year-old, confirmed by the girl’s aunt. This is the infamous urination tape. While the urination aspect has become a common punchline — even Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” has a joking reference — the fact that Kelly’s victim was underage appears to have been forgotten.
Kelly also was discovered to have forged the age on his marriage certificate when he wed the late singer Aaliyah. At the time, she was 15, however, the certificate says she was 18.
Since the BBC documentary aired, Kelly’s inner circle has left him. As of April 1, Kelly’s executive assistant Diana Copeland left the singer. Copeland worked with Kelly on projects like Trapped in the Closet and 2007’s Light Up Tour. In addition, Kelly’s attorney, Linda Mensch has left him, as has Trevian Kutti, his publicist.
Do you believe the R. Kelly allegations? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image by Noam Galai/Getty Images
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