It's Really Time to Stop Encouraging R. Kelly
He crossed the line with my daughter. It didn't get to the extreme of that [sex tape] video or else I wouldn't be here, if you know what I'm talking about... The reason that I'm talking about this, it's not just for me, it's not for my wife, it's not for my daughter, but it's for other fathers and mothers because it doesn't have to be a superstar, it could be the dude on the corner.
There are guys who sit around and give your child a couple of bucks to go to school and then wait until they get a little older, then they set that trap.
Allegations of abuse. Videotapes. Court documents. Testimony. Settlements. Children.
As Sound of the City, Rocks Off's sister blog at New York's Village Voice, reported earlier this week, if we look back on the timeline of R. Kelly's life, littered among the misogynistic, sexually charged songs -- "I Like the Crotch on You," for example -- it's incredibly difficult to ignore the glaring warning signs. They're everywhere.
From the very first reports of Kelly's marriage to a then-underage Aaliyah in 1994, whom he wed with the help of a forged birth certificate, someone should have spoken out about how potentially dangerous this man may be. He was 27. She was only 15. He was a man; she was a child.
When he was sued by Tiffany Hawkins in 1996, with Hawkins alleging that she had a sexual relationship with Kelly that began when she was 15 -- only a freshman in high school -- and allegedly involved multiple underage threesomes with Hawkins's friends, someone should have spoken out about the dangers of promoting this man's fame. Kelly settled the lawsuit.
In '99, when Kelly's protégé and touring partner, Stephanie "Sparkle" Edwards, relayed stories of a tour where the backstage area was filled with underage girls, there should have been some sort of pushback against him.
When R. Kelly's well-established manager, Barry Hankerson, resigned his position and sent a letter to Kelly's attorney stating that "he believes Kelly needs psychiatric help for his compulsion to pursue underage girls," the world should have been up in arms about this man's continued success.
in 2001, when the first videotape surfaced and the Tracy Sampson lawsuit followed on its heels, there should have been an outright boycott of Kelly's music. Tracy Sampson was 17. Kelly settled the lawsuit.
When a second tape surfaced only a year later, a tape in which R. Kelly was allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old, during which he urinates in the child's mouth, someone should have shut this man's career down.
When Patrice Jones sued the singer in 2002, and Kelly again settled the lawsuit, there was no outrage.
And when Kelly was finally indicted on child-pornography charges, with another 12 counts to follow once a camera was recovered during a subsequent search of his home -- which allegedly contained images of the singer having sex with an underage girl -- he should have lost his career.
Yet when Kelly posted bail after his arrest, and left the courthouse to go directly to a kindergarten graduation, in direct violation of a court order, there were no repercussions.
When in 2003, author Kim Dulaney spoke out about Kelly in Star Struck, and when Kelly's brother released a DVD three years later claiming that R. Kelly had a problem with underage girls, his career held strong.
When Regina Daniels, Kelly's lifelong spokesperson, quit in 2008, stating that "a line had been crossed," Kelly's career saw no backlash. Her husband later came forth about Kelly's relationship with their daughter, to which another Kelly spokesperson, Allen Mayer, replied:
It's hard to take seriously the moral outrage expressed by George and Regina Daniels over R. Kelly's relationship with Mr. Daniels' adult daughter, Maxine. The fact is that they had no problem with the relationship -- indeed, they encouraged it -- while Ms. Daniels was on Mr. Kelly's payroll.
When the trial ended in 2008 with a verdict of "not guilty," and the jury stated that while they were "certain that Kelly was the man on the tape, but they could not be certain about the identity of the girl, hence they could not be sure about her age and whether the video really was child pornography," there was no boycott. No outrage. No release of Kelly from any record contracts. Nothing.
Story continues on the next page.