Robert Sylvester Kelly, you got some ‘splainin to do!
Let’s start out with some facts before we address the drama. Fact #1: R. Kelly is not charged with any crimes AT THIS TIME. That could change at a later date. Fact #2: The woman at the center of this drama is presently of legal age to be considered a consenting adult. That doesn’t mean any other woman involved could be the same, nor does it make his alleged behavior any less suspect. Fact #3: Unless other women come forward to confirm any of the current allegations against Mr. Kelly, this story might end up dead in the water. Someone needs to corroborate the story and in corroborating it there needs to be actual evidence of criminal misconduct. For now he’s innocent until proven guilty, although a famous duet might suggest otherwise.
Now then if you hadn’t already heard the news, R. Kelly apparently has a real life “cult of personality” and he’s not letting anyone out of it. The allegations come from two parents named J. and Tim who moved from Memphis to Atlanta to help their oldest daughter pursue a career in music. That makes sense given Atlanta has been and continues to be a hotbed for hip-hop and R&B. Now the fair minded “there’s two sides to every story” argument is that the daughter cut off contact because J. and Tim were control freaks and that their daughter is just happy to be living life on her own pursuing her musical dream. On the other hand Kelly did once secretly marry Aaliyah when she was ONLY 15, a marriage that was later annulled because she wasn’t of age to consent. Then of course there was Kelly’s underage sex tape scandal, although the record will show he was ultimately found not guilty. The point is that Kelly’s kept some secrets “in the closet” over time that tends to make one question what he does.
So J. and Tim accuse R. Kelly of brainwashing their daughter and not letting her have contact with her family. That could be stage parents with sour grapes. To corroborate their story though three women formerly in Kelly’s entourage say that they were treated in the exact same way. Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee all say they lived in rental properties controlled by Kelly in Atlanta and Chicago. According to BuzzFeed Kelly was “dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.” The allegations run deep enough that I don’t want to recount them all here. Any individually would be disturbing, combined a fairly grim picture. I don’t think it is hard to believe that aspiring young singers who look up to a man who has sold over a hundred million records and is worth over a hundred million dollars could easily forget who they are in a desperate chase to taste that same success.
Once again it needs to be stated that Kelly should at least in the eyes of the law be given the benefit of the doubt. Despite his sketchy marriage to Aaliyah and long court case involving alleged sex with a minor he has never been convicted of anything. That doesn’t mean that Kelly hasn’t been sued numerous times before in civil court though, and any case that seems to have the least bit of merit always ends up being settled with some sort of payout and the signing of a non-disclosure agreement between both sides. That doesn’t prove anything. It also doesn’t make Kelly seem like a completely innocent person. If Kelly wants to clear his name (again) it seems like he should let J. and Tim speak to their daughter, who claim (their word of course) they’ve only received two texts from her in the last 12 months. For it to have reached the point of becoming a mainstream news story one can only say they’re NOT going away, so Kelly is going to need to deal with these new allegations sooner or later.