It's Really Time to Stop Encouraging R. Kelly

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R. Kelly and Lady Gaga in an uncompromising position on Saturday Night Live last month
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.

-- George Daniels, husband of former R. Kelly spokesperson Regina Daniels, 2008

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.

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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.



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14 comments
sheesh
sheesh

DeRogatis has been reporting this story for FIFTEEN years. Thank god the outrage may be FINALLY building. Yay for that. But PLEASE don't act like you all haven't been complicit in it and know for sure that if he had pee'd on a 15 year old Brittanie Shey instead of a 15 year old black child he wouldn't be trtapped in a closet he would be trapped in a cell.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Gaga is his label/management pulling in e'ry favor for a path back to crossover/mainstream acceptance. The last "tour stop" I remember in Houston was at the Arena Theatre--singing karaoke. Should've been billed as the "G. Glitter Legal Defense Fund Show." 

The people who buy his creepyfreaky music are gonna buy it even if video surfaces of him bumping uglies with an underage goat. Record sales will pay some bills but if he wants Prince money, he needs concerts and--sponsors. Shine a light on his sponsors and you'll clip his wings. 

Sherrie Cruz
Sherrie Cruz

I fucking agree! R. Kelly is a pedophile. He not only shouldn't have a career, he should be in prison. Fucking douche bag.

eudemonist
eudemonist

But..but...but...HIP-HOPERA!  It's sooooo goood!  He sings about turning left, then turning right, then going straight!  He's an ARTIST, you know?  It's not like he's Orson Scott Card or something;  the guy just made a couple mistakes!

/s

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

"You all?" "Complicit?" Really? Where is the outrage in the Grio? Oh, here' today's story: "Can Feminists Enjoy R. Kelly Music?" This is the same group who published an article in defense of the Cleveland, TX rapists. Publications have avoided the story; some, no doubt, because it isn't their community/children. But I also have no doubt other publications have avoided the story because it's a lose/lose prospect.

BTW, the name game you play undercuts your argument and it's in poor taste. 

sheesh
sheesh

@MadMac Please don't think I am being snarky--I am not. However, I do not understand your comment in the least. It wasn't about what any other publication had said. I don't know what the Grio is or what rapists in Cleveland have to do with anything. No name game was being played. Of the 3 women who wrote the snarky wink wink nudge nudge articles about rapey ol R Kelly, Ms Shea's name happened to be the one I remembered without having to go back and check. Feel free to follow the links to the articles i provided . I believe Ms Shea's is from 2009 but the other 3 are all from the last 18 months and 3 out of 4 are written by women. My point is if one is to jump on a bandwagon one must be aware that there may also be luggage on the wagon slippin' and a slidin'.

sheesh
sheesh

@MadMac As for the comment about Ms Shey, I was merely trying to make the point that if this had happened to a single (as in one) white girl, this would have all ended fifteen years ago. It did not happen to white girls.  


  Signed, Lil Ole Cray Cray Me

sheesh
sheesh

@MadMac Maybe I am a poor writer or maybe you are a poor reader. Let me try to be clear. Yes I am glad that the Houston Press is treating this seriously 15 YEARS AFTER THE STORY BROKE AND HAS CONTINUED TO BE REPORTED ON BY JIM DEROGATIS, ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED MUSIC JOURNALISTS IN THE COUNTRY! Is it not conceivable then that other music journalists and publications might also have followed this path? One would think, right? Instead we got wink wink nudge nudge pee pee haha.FOR 15 FUCKING YEARS. Yes I am glad the tide is turning but lest Ms Lecht get all self righteous about things I simply wanted to point out that there had been a lot of snark about it here

. Is that clear enough for you or should I have Shea Serrano put it in coloring book form? Sychophant

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

You welcome Ms. Leicht's scrutiny/story on this perv in one line then attack the publication in the next and claim no snark intended? You allege race is the basis for the lack of coverage on this story and cite other publications/stories. I contrasted The Grio--an African American news and entertainment publication--as an example. And now you complain of bandwaggons after complaining of the lack of coverage. Cake and eat it to moment? 

As for the articles you cite--I get it, you don't care for Ms. Shae's writing. I have and will continue to disagree with authors here, often. But to use that author to illustrated a poorly thought out point vis-a-vis some twisted revenge fantasy does not advance your argument. It degrades both the person and your credibility. In that line and your subsequent defense, you go from dissenting commenter to cra-cra.

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