Sexual abuse accusations against singer trigger investigators to call for victims to come forward
Singer R. Kelly is reportedly being investigated in multiple jurisdictions following the release of a Lifetime docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which explores allegations that the Grammy winner sexually abused several victims over a span of decades.
What are the details?
The six-part series includes interviews with R. Kelly associates, relatives, and accusers — many of whom claim they were teenagers at the time they were abused, according to The New York Times. After airing Thursday through Saturday, the documentary grabbed not only the attention of the media, but also law enforcement.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Illinois’ Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx called for victims of the singer to come forward.
“There is nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses,” Foxx told the cameras.
Foxx said that after watching the series herself, “I was sickened by the allegations. I was sickened as a survivor. I was sickened as a mother. I was sickened as a prosecutor.”
The Associated Press reported that in 2008, a Cook County jury acquitted Kelly on 14 counts of child pornography after he was accused of engaging in sex acts with a girl as young as 13.
In a separate report on Wednesday, TMZ said an alleged victim is also planning to press charges against Kelly in New York City with the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit. The unnamed victim accuses the singer of plying her with alcohol, restraining her and giving her a sexually transmitted disease.
Representatives for R. Kelly have been pushing back against the claims, with the singer’s Chicago attorney, Steve Greenberg, telling WGN-TV of the docuseries: “There are no underage women, there is no sex cult, it’s all some reality TV made up story.”
“No one has ever seen any evidence of it,” he said. “There are no photos of [Kelly] with these women. There’s no anything.”
In May, R. Kelly’s former manager, James Mason, was arrested after being accused of threatening to kill a man who says Kelly is holding his daughter against her will, CNN reported. According to the girl’s father, Mason told him, “I’m gonna do harm to you and your family, when I see you I’m gonna get you, I’m going to f***ing kill you.”
Kelly has repeatedly denied all allegations against him.