History of R. Kelly

The History of R Kelly

Kelly has recently come in the spotlight over the past few months, with talk of sexual misconduct surrounding his name. On February 22, he was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located. Last year, several news publications exposed his sexual misconduct which has led to these charges. However, R. Kelly’s problematic past has gone way, way back.

In the 90s

In 1994, when R. Kelly was 27 years old, he married someone more than ten years younger than him, Aaliyah, at age 15. How did this marriage even happen? The two had been introduced to each other and working for their record labels, sharing the common career as musicians. However, between the years 1993 and 1994, that business relationship had escalated into a romantic relationship, and eventually a marriage. Vibe Magazine had broken the story at the time, months after Aaliyah released the iconic Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. Eventually Aaliyah would have the marriage annulled and any documents regarding the marriage sealed, as well as her relationship with R. Kelly sealed, as the two apparently never interacted since.

The records continues from his first scandal, afterwards in 1997, he was sued for another inappropriate sexual encounter. Tiffany Hawkins had sued the singer for $10 million dollars for a sexual relationship when she was 15 years old, the same age as Aaliyah in their first scandal. Eventually Hawkins settled for less than 3% of what she originally asked for.

In the 2000s

In 2000, R. Kelly was on the criminal side of the law after alleged sexual assault and urination of  a 13 year old girl, however From 2001 to 2002 R. Kelly was sued by three different women, with a commonality of abuse and sexual relationships from ages as 16, or misconduct in general. All three of his cases were settled out of court. Andrea Lee Kelly had filed for a restraining order against her former husband, and only a year later they divorced. For many years starting in 2002 and years after, the singer had been arrested for child pornography, released on bail multiple times (for the same charges in different counties and jurisdictions), and eventually acquitted or having the charges dropped against him

After the his dealings with the law in the 00s, he mostly remained out of the criminal spotlight until the late 2010s. Since the Harvey Weinstein effect had brushed every crevice of the entertainment industry visible, and many other industries as well, R. Kelly’s time with the law had come again. In July of 2017, Buzzfeed News dropped a bombshell report that the notorious producer had been involved in a sexual based cult. Several women had come forward and said R. Kelly had coerced them into living with him, and having relationships with him in which he controlled every aspect of their lives, and all the women were commonly 19 or in their very early 20s. Although all the relationships were consensual, the air was filled with details of mental, physical, and sexual abuse. The singer had followed through with predatory behavior, and grooming young girls so he could use them. Although his conduct is debatably, morally wrong, it was also legally “right”, so he could not be arrested for any of his alleged conduct.

In May of 2018, a woman named Faith Rogers sued R. Kelly for infecting her with herpes, and sexual battery. Per usual, the singer had denied the claims against him, but the storm of lawsuits and legal troubles would only increase from there.

Until February of 2019, the public had been talking, protesting, continued a movement against him. His music had been removed from Spotify, and he was dropped from his label, but that brings us to now. A warrant was issued for his arrest as he was indicted on 10 counts of in Cook County, the same county where his first scandal took place 26 years ago. As society grown less tolerant of rape culture in America since Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly may not escape the grasps of law that has let him go for 26 years. Consistent incidents with law, almost all dealing with sexual misconduct, is a not a coincidence. Potential statutory rape, falsified, illegal, underage marriages, barely consensual, and barely legal sexual relationships, as well as alleged sexual assault and battery, all settled out of court within the timespan of a few years is not a coincidence. Sadly, since R. Kelly took advantage of the legal system to legally commit immoral acts, he got away and continued to get away with clearly terrible actions, and hopefully it ends now.