R. Kelly: A Relief of Justice

R. Kelly has made many hit songs and records that he became famous for, but in the past two decades, he has been known for much worse. After 20 plus years of accusations, the singer, songwriter, and producer has just turned into a registered sex offender. 


R. Kelly has faced allegations of sexual abuse since the 1990’s. The indictments were from women and girls as young as 13 years old. The accusations against him fell into the categories of child pornography, sex trafficking, sexual abuse and much more. He lured in a lot of his victims by promising them a music career and complementing their voice. These young girls were looking for a dream, and Kelly offered it to them; however, these girls’ dreams turned into their worst nightmares.  


Allegations first sparked in 1994 when R. Kelly married 15-year old music star Aaliyah. They got married in secret, and Aaliyah lied about her age on the wedding certificate. Kelly then wrote and produced a song on Aaliyah’s album called “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” This song was the perfect cover up for the predator Kelly and was him hiding his true self in plain sight. During Aaliyah’s career, she always strayed away from answering questions about her and Kelly. 


“When people ask me, I tell them, ‘Hey, don’t believe all that mess,'” Aaliyah told a BBC interviewer, “We’re close and people took it the wrong way.”


After Aaliyah’s death, R. Kelly didn’t talk about the marriage out of respect for her family, but there was a big amount of suspicion on why a 15 year old would marry a 27 year old. When it was found out that they lied about her age on the marriage certificate, it caused more uproar towards Kelly’s intentions for his relationships. 


In between 1996 & 2002, Kelly was sued by four different women. They all alleged that they were under age when they had a sexual relationship with Kelly and were treated as objects, controlled, and left with emotional distress. One woman said that she got pregnant by Kelly and he forced her to have an abortion. In all these cases, there was a settlement of undisclosed sums. Kelly took advantage of the fear he put into his victims and used that to silence them. He completely exploited them for his reputation and showed how selfish he is.  


Before his recent trial, he was charged with 21 counts of child sexual abuse videos and 12 counts of producing child sexual abuse images. According to BBC, in each of these trials, the evidence was found insufficient or not enough proof to convict Kelly, and no damages towards him were done. In 2017 and 2018, more allegations came out against Kelly and victims started to speak out in the media. #MuteR.Kelly became a popular slogan on social media after the victims started to speak out and were shouted at during protests at Kelly’s concert. 


A short documentary was also created focusing on Kelly’s personal life and getting inside information from people close to him to uncover the truth behind the allegations. In the documentary, James Lee, a former studio engineer who worked for Kelly, revealed how he would pick his “girls” and what he would do with them. 


“I came into the studio one night and while I’m there, he had two girls in their underwear standing at the front of the console bent over, while he’s back there playing the keyboards and doing lyrics,” said Lee, according to BBC news.


He also stated that Kelly had picked up girls from McDonalds and high schools that he would hang around. A grown man hanging around spots that were known for high school kids was nothing but predatory, and that’s what Kelly is. He would use the girls he picked up for inspiration and would always have them in his private bedrooms in the studio. 


“They were there for one thing, to service Rob, and when he was tired of you – it’s like you’re a Big Mac, and when he’s done eating you, he throws the wrapper away,” BBC news.


After all these allegations, R. Kelly was still a successful artist and nothing had been done to him. Many people had to ask themselves why that was, and how a vulgar person like him was still living a good life. The answer to that is money. R. Kelly was a millionaire and had plenty of money to use to keep his victims quiet. A variety of his court cases ended well for him due to the fact that he would settle for amounts up to $750,000. Kelly was very greedy and threw so much money away to save himself and thought that it was going to save him, but he was proved wrong. 


R. Kelly was put in jail after the courageous Surviving R. Kelly & Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning documentary came out. In Surviving R. Kelly & Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, there were brave women telling their story. They each had been victims of Kelly, or had been close to him or the victims telling what they experienced. 


Jerhonda Pace, one of Kelly’s victims, spoke out in the Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning documentary about what he made her do and how he left her broken even after their relationship was over. 


“If he was to go to jail or someone was to harm him, I was supposed to kill myself,” Pace said while crying. “He told me that if I was everything to him, like I say he is, there would be no life worth living.” (NY Times)


Kelly left many women and their families emotionally broken, but still denied everything. In the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, a clip was shown in the beginning showing Kelly’s reaction to the allegations against him. 


“I got a million motherfuckers hating me, 40 billion motherfuckers loving me. You know what I am saying,” stated Kelly. “I am handcuffed, like a lot of you motherfuckers. I’m handcuffed to my destiny. It’s too late. They should have did this shit 30 years ago. It’s too late.”


Kelly’s absolute ignorance and feeling of invisibility makes him egotistic which is disrespectful to all the people he has hurt. His pride and cry for pity and attention also showed in his historic interview with Gayle King, where he got unnecessarily chaotic. 


“Believe me, man! This is not me! They lying on me! They’re lying on me! I’m cool, bro,” Kelly screamed in the interview. “I’m cool. I’m good. I’m not afraid because I’m telling the truth. I’m not afraid because I’m telling the truth!” (Cbs).


R. Kelly has no regard for any of his victims, their families, or what he’s done, and this interview showed that. He only cares about his self-image, and while he thought he could get away with it, he was thankfully proved wrong.  


After the documentaries came out, Kelly was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking, 11 charges of sexual assualt and abuse against a minor, prostitution, child pornography, racketeering, kidnapping, and much more. In court, he faced nine counts and he was charged federally due to felonies occurring in more than one state. Kelly’s trial began on Aug. 18 in New York, and on Sep. 27, after only two days of deliberation, the jury found Kelly guilty on all counts. He is expected to be sentenced on May 4, 2022 and still faces trials in two other states that can lead to him serving decades behind bars.


In total, 11 people testified against Kelly in court. Their testimonies along with the documentaries were the point focus in putting R. Kelly behind bars. His victims’ bravery helped make sure that they got the justice they deserve and also made sure that no other woman or girl would have to worry about being preyed on by Kelly. The acting attorney for this case in Brooklyn, Jacquelyn M. Kasulis stated how big of a part everyone played in putting Kelly away.


“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification,” said Kasulis. “To the victims in this case, your voices were heard, and justice was finally served. We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims” (Nbc).


Throughout the years, Kelly’s victims along with other women and girls lived in fear of becoming prey or having to face other men like Kelly. Their faith in good men went down due to being abused and treated like objects by him and it mental and emotionally put a strain on them and their families. Now with him behind bars, they can go back to living their lives now that one of the most vicious and undetected sexual predators is off the streets. 

“I’ve been hiding from Robert Kelly in fear due to threats made against me and I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” stated one of the victims. “Thank you for shining a light and helping me to get out from under that rock that I stayed under for far too long.” (CNN)