American singer R. Kelly, who spent decades silencing his victims, was finally brought to justice following a scandalous documentary.
In 2019, Lifetime shocked the world by revealing the R’n’B singer’s appalling predator behavior in a series of documentary movies called “Surviving R. Kelly.” Along with revisiting old claims, the short films exposed new ones, Daily Mail notes.
Following the outrageous revelations, R. Kelly was finally brought to justice after years of using his fame to silence his victims. On Monday, September 27, the 54-year-old musician was convicted on nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.
Breaking News: R. Kelly was found guilty of being the ringleader of a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex. The verdict represents the first criminal consequence for the singer after decades of accusations of sexual abuse. https://t.co/NhoXmER3iK pic.twitter.com/4HLCG5focA
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 27, 2021
Illinois’ Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office has been contacted by families of victims of the offender, urged other sufferers to come forward. Moreover, women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred brought Faith Rogers in front of the cameras to open up about her traumatizing interaction with her abuser.
Meanwhile, on February 14, 2019, lawyer Michael Avenatti claimed he handed a video showing R. Kelly having sex with a minor to Chicago prosecutors. The following week, the singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse related to four victims as young as 13.
One of the victims who shared their stories in the series was his ex-wife Andrea Kelly.
Andrea Kelly, who was married to R. Kelly between 1996 and 2009, said she was abused by her ex-husband throughout their whole marriage. Speaking to Lifetime, she said:
“You don’t even believe in your won sense of judgment after a while.”
In time, more and more victims gathered the courage to speak out about their traumas caused by R. Kelly. Prosecutors were then able to strengthen their case against the R’n’B performer.
This Monday, R. Kelly was found guilty of some of his crimes after 50 witnesses testified against him.
According to prosecutors, the singer suppressed the allegations against him for years by pressuring victims into signing non-disclosure agreements in exchange for money. While some of the sufferers were paid into silence, others were threatened.
As a result, in 2008, R. Kelly was acquitted of 18 child pornography charges after a girl refused to testify.
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The “I Believe I Can Fly” performer has a history of sexual assault allegations against him, with the first being filed by Tiffany Hawkins in 1997. Instead of justice, Hawkings, who was 15 at the time of the abuse in 1991 while Kelly was 24, received $250,000 – a fraction of the $10 million she sought in damages.
In 1994, the then 27-year-old singer secretly got married to the “Princess of R’n’B” Aaliyah, who was only 15. Their marriage was later annulled due to her age.
Although R. Kelly was finally convicted, many have raised concerns about the fact that he managed to escape justice for years.
How many year of hell did his victims endure until this? We need to ask why he escaped justice for 25 years: https://t.co/fVB1DDVBIr
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) September 27, 2021
— Freedom from Prejudice 🌊🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@iPicNews) September 27, 2021
What’s more, some mentioned the major role of Lifetime’s documentary series in the 54-year-old’s conviction.
All credit where credit is due: Dream Hampton's incredible documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, played a major role in this prosecution.
He is a monstrous pedophile who preyed on Black girls for decades. Justice is long overdue.
— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (she/her) (@ECMcLaughlin) September 27, 2021