R. Kelly Faces 11 Fresh Charges

US music artist R. Kelly (L) leaves the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building after a hearing for his sex abuse case in Chicago, Illinois. Joshua Lott / AFP

 

Chicago prosecutors on Thursday filed 11 felony sex crime charges against R&B superstar R. Kelly, in what his lawyer said was a refiling of counts from an existing case.

Kelly is already facing 10 felony charges, filed in February, for the alleged abuse of four women.

The latest counts are refiled charges from an allegation from 10 years ago, and not a new case, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg said.

“These are the same conduct, just charged differently, the same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts,” Greenberg said on Twitter.

“It changes nothing,” Greenberg said.

Kelly is currently out on bail. He will appear in court June 6 on the new charges, US media reported.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, did not immediately return a request for comment.

AFP

Cardi B’s ‘Dirty Past’ Sparks Controversy On Social Media

This January 25, 2018 file photo shows Cardi B attending the Warner Music Group’s annual Grammy celebration in association with V magazine in New York. Cardi B, who has quickly risen to become one of the most prominent women in hip-hop, has become a mother, announcing Wednesday, July 11, 2018 the birth of daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus.
KENA BETANCUR / AFP

 

Popular American rapper, singer and songwriter, Cardi B, is currently trending on Social Media following a video which resurfaced online.

In the InsaLive video, which the singer says was done three years ago, she had admitted to drugging and robbing men as a means of survival.

While she admits she isn’t proud of that ‘dirty past’ and no longer tows that path, she has been called out by critics in the wake of similar cases involving other celebrities.

“All I can do now is be a better me for myself my family and my future,” the mother of one said.

 

 

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All I can do now is be a better me for myself my family and my future.

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on

 

Many have likened her situation to that of R. Kelly and Bill Cosby who have been accused of sexual assault and some have even asked that a case be taken up against her as with the two celebrities.

“Is there any chance at all that a man could admit to drugging and robbing women and still keep his career?” a Twitter user asked as questions of equality are also being raised.

Read Also: New R. Kelly Sex Abuse Tape Discovered, Says Lawyer

Some fans, have, however, argued that while her actions were indeed criminal, she no longer tows the path and she can’t be compared to other celebrities who allegedly committed the crimes despite their status and privilege.

 

Below are some of the comments.

New R. Kelly Sex Abuse Tape Discovered, Says Lawyer

R Kelly/AFP

 

One of the lawyers representing women who claim they were abused by R&B star R. Kelly said Sunday a new videotape had emerged which showed the singer “sexually abusing children.”

Kelly is currently on bail after being accused of sexually abusing four women, including three teenagers, between May 1998 and January 2010.

The latest discovery was announced by lawyer Gloria Allred at a press conference where she told journalists it was found by couple Gary and Sallie Dennis in a box of old VHS cassettes at their home.

Neither Allred nor Dennis elaborated on how the tape came to be in the couple’s possession.

READ ALSO: It’s Official! Jennifer Lopez, A-Rod Are Engaged

“Prior to learning that such a tape was in their possession, Sallie had viewed the Lifetime documentary called ‘Surviving R. Kelly,'” said Allred.

“She was emotionally very disturbed by what the women in the documentary alleged had happened.

“Sometime after that, Sallie and her husband discovered to their surprise that they had a VHS tape that could be helpful in learning what had happened to these young girls who had come into contact with R. Kelly.”

Allred said that while she had not viewed a previous tape that had been widely reported in the media, she did not believe it was of the same act.

She said it showed “what appeared to be R. Kelly sexually abusing children” but declined to go into further detail.

But she urged others who possess such tapes but may be reluctant to admit that they have them to come forward to her or to law enforcement.

Gary Dennis said he had made the discovery while going through old sports tapes and trying to decide which ones to keep and which to throw out.

“He was telling them what to do and what to say, and it appeared that he was controlling the camera,” said Denis.

Dennis said that as a father to two daughters himself, he reacted in horror and his first instinct was to throw the tape out, but after discussing the matter with his wife contacted Allred.

The tape is the third to purportedly show Kelly engaging in such acts. The first two have been reported by Michael Avenatti, a lawyer representing other women involved in the case.

Multiple women have come forward since the airing of the six-part documentary in January to say the 52-year-old singer had sexual relations with girls under the age of 16 and kept sex slaves.

The details of the current criminal case echo previous accusations of sexual misconduct that have dogged the artist for the last two decades.

In 2002, he was criminally charged for allegedly filming himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He was tried in that case and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

A 2017 BuzzFeed report later alleged he had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta.

AFP

R. Kelly Released From Jail After Paying Child Support

FEBRUARY 22: R&B singer R. Kelly arrives at the 1st District-Central police station on February 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced today that Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of four victims, at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Singer R. Kelly was released from jail Saturday after paying child support following a previous detention on sex abuse charges.

The R&B superstar was taken into custody Wednesday after failing to come up with the $161,000 he owed in payments to his ex-wife and their three children.

“I promise you we’re going to straighten all this stuff out,” Kelly, 52, told journalists as he left prison.

It was the second time Kelly was freed from the Cook County jail in his hometown Chicago.

He also exited the prison on February 25 after taking several days to arrange payment of a $100,000 bail for a separate case that saw him accused of sexually abusing four women, including three teenagers.

Kelly is due back in court in both cases later this month.

The abuse in the criminal case is alleged to have occurred between May 1998 and January 2010.

The details of the case echoed previous accusations of sexual misconduct that have dogged the artist for the last two decades.

In 2002, he was criminally charged for allegedly filming himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He was tried in that case and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

A 2017 BuzzFeed report later alleged he had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta.

And in January, a six-part documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly” was released. It said he had engaged in sexual, mental and physical abuse of girls and women.

Alleged Rape: R. Kelly’s Girlfriends Defend Superstar, Deny Brainwashing

R&B singer R. Kelly arrives at the 1st District-Central police station on February 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

 

Two women living with R. Kelly are defending the R&B superstar charged with sexual abuse, saying in an interview aired Thursday that their relationships with him are consensual.

Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, told US network CBS that they “absolutely” are in love with Kelly, brushing off allegations that the 52-year-old artist brainwashes women he keeps in homes that operate as de facto sex cults.

“We live with him, and we’re in a relationship with him,” Clary said of Kelly, who returned to jail Wednesday for failing to pay child support.

“A very strong relationship as well,” added Savage.

Questioned on the nature of their sex lives with Kelly, Clary said “I would never share with no one what I do in or outside of the bedroom.”

READ ALSO: R. Kelly Denies Sex Abuse Charges

“There are people all over the world who have multiple girlfriends,” she said. “It’s no different.”

Last month Kelly — dogged for decades by allegations including child pornography, sexual abuse and false imprisonment — pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors. That case is not linked to women he currently lives with.

In 2017 a BuzzFeed report alleged the musician had kept women as virtual sex slaves at his Chicago and Atlanta homes.

Clary and Savage dubbed accusations against Kelly money-making schemes.

But Clary’s parents released a statement shortly after the interview aired saying their daughter “is presently suffering from years of mental abuse and manipulation by R. Kelly.”

“R. Kelly is a desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls who should die in prison,” said the statement tweeted by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents at least two of Kelly’s alleged victims.

“All of the victims and parents cannot be lying.”

CBS released the interview with the two women after airing an emotional sit-down with Kelly himself, his first public comments since the indictment against him.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This not me,” Kelly said, saying he was “fighting” for his life.

“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true.”

Kelly — the star behind hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” — remains in custody in Chicago after failing to pay $161,000 in child support payments he owes to his former spouse and three children.

Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly also has previously accused the artist of domestic abuse.

AFP

R. Kelly Denies Sex Abuse Charges

FEBRUARY 22: R&B singer R. Kelly arrives at the 1st District-Central police station on February 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

 

R&B superstar R. Kelly denied allegations he sexually abused women and girls in his first public comments since being indicted last month.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This not me,” Kelly told “CBS This Morning”, saying he was “fighting” for his life in an interview to air Wednesday. Excerpts were released Tuesday.

He dismissed the allegations against him as rumors.

“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true,” said Kelly, who became upset and emotional during the interview.

Kelly, 52, pleaded not guilty late last month in Chicago to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

READ ALSO: R. Kelly Charged With 10 Counts Of Sex Abuse

He spent three nights behind bars and was released after coming up with $100,000, 10 percent of the $1 million bail set in court.

The sex acts are alleged to have occurred between May 1998 and January 2010, according to prosecutors.

Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct before.

In 2002 he was charged after allegedly filming himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

Now he says his reputation is being used against him.

“People are going back to my past, OK? That’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re going back to the past and they trying to add all of this stuff now to that. To make all this stuff that’s going on now feels real to people,” Kelly said, according to the CBS transcript of the interview.

He also addressed a report by BuzzFeed in 2017 that said Kelly had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta.

Kelly denied ever holding anyone against their will.

“I don’t need to. Why would I? How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all I’ve been through in my way, way past, to hold somebody,” he asked.

“That’s stupid,” Kelly added, looking right into the camera.

The BuzzFeed allegations did not lead to any charges.

In January, a six-part documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly” was released. It alleged he engaged in sexual, mental and physical abuse of girls and women.

AFP

R. Kelly Released On Bail, Denies Sexually Abusing Children

R Kelly arrives for the 2013 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, California.  Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

R&B superstar R. Kelly was freed from jail Monday after posting bail and pleading not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors.

The 52-year-old, who did not speak to reporters, was released from custody after spending three nights behind bars during which time his associates and family members worked to gather the $100,000 necessary to bail him out.

Hours earlier, Kelly stood in a Chicago courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit as his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea. The musician had turned himself in three days earlier.

The star’s bail had been set at $1 million, of which he was required to pay 10 percent.

His lawyer Steve Greenberg — who has called his client’s finances “a mess” — maintained the chart-toppers innocence.

READ ALSO: $1 Million Bail Set For Singer R. Kelly

“Mr. Kelly’s done absolutely nothing wrong,” he told reporters at the courthouse.

Michael Avenatti, the high-profile lawyer representing at least two of the alleged victims, said his team had turned over a second, 55-minute-long tape to prosecutors that depict the artist “engaged in an illegal sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.”

“The conduct in the tape can be described as nothing short of outrageous and illegal,” the lawyer told reporters.

Avenatti earlier this month gave Chicago prosecutors approximately 40 minutes of previously unreleased footage of Kelly allegedly having sex with a teenager.

He said his team was in the process of obtaining the third tape of a similar nature, and that additional witnesses had come forward over the weekend.

“This reign of abuse and assault by Mr. Kelly is about to come to an abrupt and permanent end,” Avenatti said.

Kelly, best known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly,” is next due in court on March 22.

 Checkered past 

Kelly surrendered to Chicago police Friday after a documentary series refocused attention on decades of accusations against him, including possession of child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.

After a dramatic trial, Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges, also in Chicago. The new 10-count indictment included three people who were minors aged between 13 and 16 when the alleged abuse occurred.

Kim Foxx — the state’s attorney for Cook County, which includes Chicago — told journalists the alleged crimes occurred between 1998 and 2010. The charges carry three to seven years of prison time each.

Kelly’s lawyer has said the charges are based on old and false accusations, adding that “all of the women are lying.”

Lizzette Martinez — who detailed allegations against Kelly in the docu-series and is now a client of prominent women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred — lashed out against Greenberg’s comments, calling them “irresponsible.”

“I’m a mother and I have a daughter,” said the 41-year-old, who claims Kelly abused her between 1995 and 1999.

“I felt like I had to be transparent and vocal about what happened to me, to save others,” Martinez said when asked by journalists in Los Angeles why she came forward.

“I was hurt when I was young.”

Kelly is known for marrying his protege Aaliyah in 1994 when the late R&B star was 15.

Kelly, then 27, had produced the teenage singer’s debut album titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” Their marriage was later annulled, and Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.

Despite the slew of disturbing claims against him, the award-winning musician continued to perform for years and maintained a solid fan base.

Last month’s release of the “Surviving R. Kelly” series once again brought accusations against him to the fore. A #MuteRKelly movement — aimed at preventing his music from airing — has gained steam.

Lisa VanAllen, who spoke out against Kelly in the 2008 criminal trial and again in the recent documentary, wrote in The New York Times that she had feared no vindication would come for “a young, struggling, black girl victim like me.”

“It’s been a long time coming, but here we are,” she wrote. “More than 10 years after I nervously faced Rob in court, I know one thing: This will not end the way it did before. It cannot.”

AFP

$1 Million Bail Set For Singer R. Kelly

R&B singer R. Kelly arrives at the 1st District-Central police station on February 22, 2019, in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

 

A US judge set a $1 million bail for R&B superstar R. Kelly on Saturday after he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four victims, three of them minors.

At a bond hearing, prosecutors said they had DNA evidence taken from one victim that matched Kelly’s. Semen taken from the shirt of a second victim, who was under age 17, was a preliminary match, they added.

In setting bail, Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. ordered Kelly to not have contact with anyone under 18 years old, and to not have contact with any of the alleged victims or witnesses.

The singer was required to relinquish his passport.

Although his bail was set at $1 million, Kelly needs to put up only one-tenth that amount, or $100,000, to be let out of jail.

AFP

R. Kelly Charged With 10 Counts Of Sex Abuse

R. Kelly has faced a string of accusation related to sexual abuse over the years.
Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged on Friday in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors.

A judge approved a no-bail arrest warrant for the 52-year-old, a Cook County clerk told AFP, a major development in the Kelly saga that has seen him for decades accused of child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.

Kim Foxx — the State’s Attorney for Cook County, which includes Chicago — told journalists the alleged crimes occurred between 1998 and 2010. A court clerk had earlier told AFP nine of the charges involve minors ages 13 to 16.

The felony charges carry three to seven years of prison time per count and are probationable, Foxx said, adding that Kelly is expected to appear in bond court Saturday afternoon.

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, did not immediately reply to multiple AFP queries.

The musician has a court date scheduled for March 8 in Chicago, where he resides, a Cook County clerk said.

It’s the second time Cook County prosecutors have charged Kelly with a sex crime: after a dramatic trial that also involved a sex tape, the musician was acquitted of 21 counts of child pornography in 2008.

‘Day of reckoning’

Kelly, known for hits like “I Believe I Can Fly,” has faced renewed public scrutiny after a scathing docu-series shed new light on his checkered past.

High-profile lawyers Gloria Allred and Michael Avenatti are representing clients linked to Kelly, with the latter saying his office had uncovered previously unreleased footage of Kelly having sex with a young girl, which the lawyer gave to the Cook County State’s Attorney.

He praised Friday’s development: “After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R. Kelly has arrived,” tweeted Avenatti, who also represents a porn star locked in a legal battle with President Donald Trump.

CNN, which obtained a copy of the tape announced by Avenatti, described it as “clear and explicit.”

The network said two scenes show a naked man who appears to be Kelly engage in several sex acts with a female who calls out “daddy.” The audio captured with the images suggests the girl is 14-years-old.

In response to that report, the artist’s lawyer Greenberg accused women who have spoken out against Kelly of doing so to “make a buck” and dismissed those allegations: “Mr. Kelly denies that he has engaged in any illegal conduct, of any kind whatsoever.”

“He would like to be able to continue to write and sing and produce and perform,” Greenberg said, adding that Kelly is working on an album.

‘About damn time’

Kelly infamously is known for marrying his protege Aaliyah in 1994, when the late R&B star was 15.

The artist, then 27, had produced the teenage singer’s debut album titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” Their marriage was later annulled, with Aaliyah dying in a plane crash years later in 2001.

Despite the slew of unsettling claims against him, the decorated musician for years has continued to perform and maintain a solid fan base.

But last month’s release of an explosive docu-series entitled “Surviving R. Kelly” once again brought accusations against him to the fore, while a #MuteRKelly movement aimed at preventing his music from airing has gained steam.

“ABOUT DAMN TIME,” tweeted prominent women’s rights advocate Linda Sarsour of the Chicago indictments.

The latest development came one day after two other women had come forward against Kelly, saying he invited them to a show’s after-party in Baltimore in the 1990s — when they were teenagers — giving them alcohol and drugs before cornering them in his hotel room and demanding sex.

They were to speak with the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, their lawyer Allred had told journalists.

A division of the US Department of Homeland Security devoted to probing sex trafficking meanwhile has a team of dozens looking into alleged crimes against Kelly, according to The New Yorker magazine.

“Black women and girls who come forward with allegations of sexual violence are too often silenced or shamed,” said the American Civil Liberties Union in a statement Friday in response to the new charges.

“It’s well past time for them to be heard.”

AFP

Sony Music Drops R. Kelly Over Alleged Sexual Abuse

R Kelly arrives for the 2013 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, California.  Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

Sony Music has called it quits with embattled singer R. Kelly, ending his contract with subsidiary RCA after a documentary aired accusing him of repeated cases of sexual abuse, media reports said Friday.

While Variety and Billboard reported the breakup, Sony Music did not immediately confirm it when contacted by AFP.

One woman who sued R. Kelly, accusing him of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease and false imprisonment, also says he has threatened her.

Women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred told reporters on Monday that her client Faith Rodgers, 20, faced “efforts to intimidate and retaliate” from Kelly after she filed the lawsuit now pending in New York’s Supreme Court.

And just after Rodgers testified in the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” that aired this month, her lawyers say Kelly and his team created a Facebook page — which the social media giant removed within hours — seeking to discredit accusers including Rodgers, posting “private” photos of her.

But the singer of “I Believe I Can Fly” fame — who recently announced a new album — has seen his reputation more and more seriously hard hit.

Calls for a boycott gathered pace in some measure thanks to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and via the #MuteRKelly hashtag on Twitter.

Spotify announced in May it would drop the singer from its curated “playlists.”

The last straw was the broadcast in early January of “Surviving R. Kelly,” a documentary in which several women accused the singer and producer, 52, of having sex with girls under the age of 16, and of having surrounded themselves with women whom he made sex slaves.

AFP

Woman Suing R.Kelly For Sex Abuse Says Singer Threatened Her

Demonstrators gather near the studio of singer R. Kelly to call for a boycott of his music after allegations of sexual abuse against young girls were raised on the highly-rated Lifetime mini-series “Surviving R. Kelly” on January 09, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. PHOTO: SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

A woman who sued R. Kelly accusing the American R&B star of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease and false imprisonment says he has threatened her.

High-profile women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred told reporters on Monday that her client Faith Rodgers, 20, faced “efforts to intimidate and retaliate” from Kelly after she filed the lawsuit now pending in New York’s Supreme Court.

And just after Rodgers testified in the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” that aired this month, her lawyers say Kelly, 51, and his team created a Facebook page — which the social media giant removed within hours — in an effort to discredit his accusers including Rodgers, posting “private” photos of her.

Rodgers’ team also said Kelly wrote to her attorney Lydia Hills saying he was prepared to demand medical evidence to support her claim about the STD and that he would challenge her version of events by putting up male witnesses who would testify under oath about her sex life.

R. Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told AFP the letter allegedly sent by the singer was “a complete fabrication.”

Rodgers filed the lawsuit in May, slightly over a year after she says she met the singer — known for hits including “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition” — following a concert in San Antonio, Texas.

She says Kelly initiated “non-permissive, painful and abusive sex” and failed to inform her he had the incurable virus herpes, which she says she then contracted.

“Taking a stand against R. Kelly, someone who has been termed ‘the King of R&B’ and is loved by many has not been easy,” Rodgers said Monday.

“I decided after a great deal of thought that I should speak my truth,” she said.

Asked what she would say to the singer today, Rodgers said: “Time’s up.”

Her mother, Kelly Rodgers, said she and her husband had also received threats and intimidation attempts.

Allred, who represents three women with accusations against Kelly, said she and Rodgers were meeting the New York Police Department later Monday to discuss the investigation.

“Mr Kelly, you may soon join the ranks of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein,” Allred said, referring to the TV icon and movie mogul felled by sexual misconduct accusations.

“You can look forward to a legacy which will not be your music, but rather the pain and suffering you inflicted on the many vulnerable teenagers and young women who claim they were victimized by you.”

Since the six-part documentary detailing allegations against Kelly premiered, multiple artists have apologized for working with him, including Lady Gaga, Nick Cannon and Chance the Rapper.

AFP

Lady Gaga Sorry, Apologises For R. Kelly’s Collabo

Lady Gaga                                                                                                                R. Kelly

 

Pop diva Lady Gaga apologized Thursday for a 2013 musical collaboration with R&B star R. Kelly — who has been accused of having sex with children — and said she plans to pull the song from circulation.

“I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner,” she posted on Twitter.

“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” Lady Gaga wrote.

The release — titled “Do What U Want (With My Body)” — features R. Kelly — who denies any wrongdoing — singing the lyrics: “Do what I want, do what I want with your body/Back of the club, taking shots, gettin’ naughty/No invitations, it’s a private party.”

The post drew praise on Twitter, with users tweeting messages of support such as “We all stand by you! I love you!” and “You did not owe anyone an explanation Gaga. You are a beautiful person, with a beautiful soul that has saved and inspired so many people.”

Gaga’s apology comes amid renewed attention on allegations of sexual misconduct against Kelly, which were highlighted in a six-hour documentary series about the singer.

In the Lifetime cable network show titled “Surviving R. Kelly” which premiered earlier this month, backup singers alleged sexual relations between him and three girls under the age of 16, including 15-year-old star Aaliyah, who died in 2001 in a plane crash.

The allegations against the 51-year-old singer, best known for his hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” are subject to criminal prosecution in several US states including Illinois, where Kelly lived as a resident of Chicago.

In May of last year, the online streaming platform Spotify removed the artist’s music from its playlists after the Time’s Up movement for gender equality urged the music industry to dump him over persistent sex abuse allegations.

But the service ultimately backtracked on a policy that reduced exposure for artists accused of personal misconduct, after criticism that the leading streaming platform was hurting musicians on flimsy evidence.

Kelly pushed back against the allegations in a 19-minute song released last year, in which he said he was himself abused at age 14.

Though it was titled “I Admit,” the marathon song was nonetheless heavier on denials than acknowledgment as the star vented frustration over the stream of allegations against him.

“I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist,” Kelly sang.

AFP