R. Kelly has long faced allegations of predatory sexual behavior, particularly focusing on his alleged predilection for teenaged girls. The latest accusations sound outlandish, particularly because they include the word “cult;” but, measured against his public history, they may not appear so outlandish.
In 1994, when he was 27, he married rising star Aaliyah who was only 15 at the time. The ceremony was held in secret and Aaliyah, it was later revealed, misrepresented her age as 18 on the marriage certificate. The marriage was annulled early the next year. Neither star ever spoke in any amount of detail about their relationship and Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001, was noticeably absent from Kelley’s autobiography.
Prior to that relationship, 24-year-old Kelly was involved with 15-year-old Tiffany Hawkins. Court documents revealed that she was 15 when they started having sex. After 3 years, she sued him for “personal injuries and emotional distress.” She initially sought $10 Million but the case was settled for $250,000.
He was sued in 2001 for allegedly coercing a 17-year-old “into an indecent sexual relationship.” Tracy Sampson also alleged that he was overly controlling and tried to isolate her from others; she also alleged that she “was treated as a personal sex object and cast aside.”
In 2002 one woman sued Kelley for impregnating her while she was underage and alleged that she was forced to have an abortion. Another woman sued him that year for videotaping the pair having sex though she had not consented to the filming. The video was then allegedly circulated.
In 2002 he was also charged with 24 counts of child pornography, including enticing a minor into various sex acts and recording them. The case involved one girl who was born in 1984. He pleaded not guilty and the 6-year trial eventually ended in an acquittal because the jury could not prove without a reasonable doubt that the girl in the videos was a minor.
Between 2002-2004 he was arrested on 12 more counts of child pornography after police found a tape with video of Kelly having ex with an underage girl. The judge dropped the case because the search was found to not have been justified.
This week Buzzfeed released another scandalous “dossier,” a report accusing Kelly of luring women to his homes and keeping them there in what is described as a “cult-like” environment. That report alleged there are currently 6 women at Kelly’s properties and that Kelly controls all aspects of each of their lives, including “what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”
There are also allegations that Kelly confiscated each girl’s cel phone, isolating them from everyone but himself; he allegedly provided a new cell phone from which they are only allowed to contact him.
BBC reports that the original Buzzfeed article is by a reporter who has covered two decades of allegations against Kelly. This story, unlike most of the others, does not allege that any of the women are underage.
Kelly has publicly denied the allegations. One of the women, 21, stated in a video call with TMZ that she was not being held against her will or “brainwashed.” She would not reveal her location or the nature of hers and Kelly’s relationship.
Kelly’s lawyer has also vehemently denied the allegations, stating that Kelly plans to find the accusers and “clear his name.”
These women, according to the report, come seeking help and advice for music careers or the like, looking to the singer of “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Trapped In the Closet” for a boost. That’s when he allegedly entraps them.
The allegations have been made by parents of the women, claiming that they see little-to-nothing of their daughters because Kelly is so controlling.
Kelly is now 50-years-old.