The allegations of sexual abuse against R Kelly have been brought into the spotlight again by the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R Kelly.
Fresh investigations into the Ignition singer have been launched in Chicago and Atlanta into allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against him by a number of women.
The 52-year-old is accused of holding five women in a sex cult, as well as having sexual contact with girls as young as 14. R Kelly has strongly denied these allegations.
While the attention on the allegations has ramped up since the airing of Surviving R Kelly, rumours have been rampant since the 90s, when the singer allegedly married Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was 27.
In light of the documentary, Lady Gaga – who collaborated with R Kelly on the 2013 song Do What You Want – has apologised for working with the R&B star.
In a note on social media, Gaga wrote: As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadnt processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.
The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body),” I think its clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self Id tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in—or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation—to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what weve been through.
I cant go back but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all seuxal identities and of all races who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career.
I share this not to make excuses for myself but to explain. Til it happens to you, you dont know how it feels. But I do know how I fell. I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not work with him again. Im sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.
Gaga is just the latest star to speak out against R Kelly following the airing of Surviving R Kelly, with former fans and collaborators taking to social media to denounce the singer.
Mathew managed daughter Beyonce in Destinys Child, and told us that while he turned down a song from R Kelly based on the quality of the track, his reputation certainly played a part in his decision-making.
The manager told Metro.co.uk: I personally rejected the song, because I didnt think it was a good song. Not just because of [his] reputation – this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things.
The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.
John, who has worked with R Kelly in the past, appeared in the Lifetime documentary, said his involvement wasnt a difficult decision for him to make, despite others refusing to comment on the issue.
He tweeted: To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didnt feel risky at all. I believe these women.
We should all thank my friend [Dream Hampton] for her very necessary work to create #SurvivingRKelly. These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard. I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice.
Chrissy echoed her husbands views on the matter.
In response to a fan praising John, the star tweeted: I just finished it as well. Proud of john but so in awe of the strength and courage of the women involved, who survived and told their stories.
I wish I could be as eloquent as John but – fuck R Kelly. #MuteRKelly.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada watched Surviving R Kelly with her daughter Willow, and called the series a tough watch.
She wrote on Instagram: I just watched this with my daughter Willow. It was tough to watch but deeply important. It brought up A LOT for us both. Mothers and fathers … its tough content but its important we have conversations with both our daughters and sons around the many issues in this docuseries. Its well done and makes it clear that we gotta do better … in so many ways.
The Girls Trip actress also questioned why people were still listening to R Kellys music.
She wrote: How is it that R Kellys music sales have spiked (substantially) since the release of the docuseries Surviving R Kelly? I need some help in understanding. What am I missing???
Keke called herself a student of R Kellys, and was his longtime friend, as well as having worked with him throughout her career.
However, the singer and actress spoke of her upset after watching Surviving R Kelly
Keke wrote on Instagram: Just finished Surviving R. Kelly and I have spent the last hour crying. As a student of R. Kellys for the time I was and having been around his light and understanding the obstacles he overcame as a child to actually be birthed into the musical genius he is today… All to put others through the same darkness he was running from is the most disheartening thing to accept.
Many people experience hardships and do not allow themselves to find freedom through their passion enough to shine a light. R. Kelly received that grace from God. God blessed him to vindicate his childhood shortcomings and yet still he has slapped God in the face by his actions towards these women. I am hurt and saddened because he could have been a blessing to these women but instead he repeatedly took advantage and that I can not accept. I will stand by my sisters because thats simply whats right and what I hope discontinues this behavior in anyone. We have to be good to each other, not all of us accept the light but those of us that do must be responsible!!!! We can not take advantage of each other or accept when someone else does.
Its important first to ACKNOWLEDGE that this has been an ugly truth in our industry for years and as opposed to dismissing its existence | its time to discuss it. EVERYONE has to be RESPONSIBLE. Many have bared witness to the unthinkable and yet have remained silent.
— OMARION (@Omarion) January 7, 2019
B2K star Omarion said that he will be retiring songs written by R Kelly from the bands reunion tour setlist, including Bump, Bump, Bump and Girlfriend.
He tweeted: Those responsible must be held accountable. #rkelly was both a victim & a predator & accordingly must be held accountable but also get professional help. His artistic genius inspired us all. His music is being muted by the darkness of his actions. The dark always comes to light.
While I know our fans would be greatly disappointed if we didnt perform those songs on #TheMillennoumTour , after the tour I am retiring those songs from my set list . I too am raising a future queen. #A.A.R.T. (Artists Acknowledging Responsibility & Truth) Peace yall.
The 28-year-old singer said it was her childhood dream to work with R Kelly, but the Leave (Get Out) singer – who shot to fame aged 13 – admits she was now relieved it never came to be.
JoJo tweeted: To know that many men Ive known throughout my career (women too, no doubt, but overwhelmingly more men ) worked so closely with R. Kelly and KNEW and in some cases SAW the abuse going on + told stories about this stuff in studio sessions like it was funny..
And nobody came forward? seems like many continued 2make money off of him and stick around, thus condoning his disgusting predatory ways. Were they sticking around for more “ridiculous Robert Kelly stories” they could tell in private studio sessions later down the line? The R Kelly stories Ive heard in sessions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [sic]
She continued: I feel DEEPLY for these COURAGEOUS QUEENS who come forward and in some cases risk their lives 2share their story &let others know theyre not alone!!!! Going up against powerful people/ entities fucking intimidating/ terrifying.
Ne-Yo shared the #MuteRKelly hashtag on Instagram following the documentary.
The Miss Independent singer wrote: There is NO excuse. Music is important. It really is. But its not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD. #IHaveADaughter #TF!?? #MUTERKELLY.
Im not feeling R after watching that …. its so much filthy shit going on in this industry nobody will ever really speak on the wild shit because most of them could have docs like this or even worst done about them! https://t.co/4tJxRHvLbQ
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 5, 2019
Meek Mill questioned what else was happening in the music industry after hearing the allegations against R Kelly.
The rapper tweeted: Im not feeling R after watching that …. its so much filthy shit going on in this industry nobody will ever really speak on the wild shit because most of them could have docs like this or even worst done about them!
It dont take a rocket scientist to see what was going on…. what Im tryna figure out why did they let it go on soooooo long!
Tank was supportive of R Kelly up until a few months ago, tweeting in September: The people have spoken and said youre still the King of R&B.. Looks like ima have to come see about you.
However, the Maybe I Deserve singer has now changed his mind.
He wrote on Instagram: A lot of artists, song writers, producers, record execs, etc are very confused as to how to respond to what theyve seen and heard. Weve all been inspired by this man. Weve all been witnesses to his musical genius. We have shaped and molded talent we sign after his musical image. Weve invested so much of ourselves into this man that its hard for us to let go. I no longer have that issue.
I whole heartedly apologize for not coming to this realization sooner. I CANOT separate the music from the monster! My 3 black daughters wont let me. What hurts even more are the facilitators around him. His team, his record company, the promoters, the radio stations! There has to be a line drawn. Enough has to be enough at some point. Who are we saying is worth protecting if we let this continue? I choose the lives of these young black girls! Im sick to my stomach! Let me also say this! There are more men guilty of these crimes! Lets make sure none of them slip through the cracks every again! You are no king because kings dont treat queens like this! [sic].
Chance The Rapper
Chance collaborated with R Kelly on Somewhere In Paradise, and made a cameo in his Backyard Party video.
However, he said in an interview from May, which was included in Surviving R Kelly: Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake. At the time, it wasnt even present in my mind that people could feel any type of way about his presence on a track of mine. I think for a long time I was only able to understand R. Kellys situation and presence in the world when it comes down to his trial and his accusations and his accusers as a victim. I dont know if thats because Im from Chicago or cause he made great music or cause he is a black man. Were programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression.
But black women are exponentially [a] higher oppressed and violated group of people just in comparison to the whole world. Maybe I didnt care because I didnt value the accusers stories because they were black women. Usually, n****s that get in trouble for shit like this on their magnitude of celebrity, its light-skinned women or white women. Thats when its a big story. Ive never really seen any pictures of R. Kellys accusers.
More: Lady Gaga
I cant be right all the time. I made a mistake and Im happy that those women are getting voices now and I can grow to understand better what my positioning should be or shouldve been when that opportunity came.
Other stars who have spoken out against R Kelly include Kathy Griffin, Yvette Nicole Brown, Dame Dash, Kerry Washington and Leslie Jones.
R Kelly has denied the allegations of abuse made against him, with his Chicago attorney Steve Greenberg calling Surviving R Kelly another round of stories being used to fill reality TV time.
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