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Investigations, public withdrawals follow the aftermath of ‘Surviving R.Kelly’

 

 

Photo: Bustle

 

I contemplated over the last week whether or not I wanted to speak on singer Robert Kelly, also known as R. Kelly, his six-hour docu-series which aired on January 3, or the people involved. I’ve decided that I have a couple of things that I would like to address.

 

Now, maybe it was just me, but the talk of the docu-series was making me sick to my stomach. Hours and hours of people talking about how the “pied piper” got away with pedophilia and sexual abuse for nearly 20 years wasn’t sitting right with me.

 

Raped by a family member, the docu-series produced by Dream Hampton highlighted a story of the abused becoming the abuser.

 

In my eyes, the docu-series proved what most people already knew inside and outside of the music industry; Kelly is a sexual abuser and has been for years. However, the light is now shining on his sins and the people around him who knew but did NOTHING.

 

Let’s start with the celebrities and industry professionals who participated in the documentary.There were familiar faces in the documentary such as singer John Legend. Legend received approval from the masses for speaking out against Kelly’s acts while others pointed out the fact that he has several pictures with Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein.

 

Weinstein has also been accused of sexual misconduct by several women in Hollywood. Legend says that he had a personal connection and wanted to appear for the docu-series. For those pointing out his pictures with Weinstein, Legend said “this is dumb.”

 

 

Journalist Touré, who also participated in the the series was accused of sexual harassment by a makeup artist in 2017.

 

He released a statement through his rep stating:

 

“On the show, our team, including myself, engaged in edgy, crass banter, that at the time I did not think was offensive for our tight-knit group. I am sorry for my language and for making her feel uncomfortable in any way. As a lead on the show, I should have refrained from this behavior. I have learned and grown from this experience.”

 

While doing my research, it made me side-eye and shake my head to a lot of people including Kelly, the parents who presented their daughter to this man despite knowing of his past, exes who were complicit in his crimes ( for example, his ex Sparkle introducing her niece to Kelly), as well as his inner circle who sat back allowing him to do these horrible deeds while their bread was getting buttered.

 

I feel sorry for the victims who are still having to deal with the emotional, mental, physical trauma due to the abuse they faced. I also feel for the late Aaliyah who was brought up in the documentary despite her family not wanting her name to be dragged into the Kelly debacle.

 

Jovante Cunningham, a former backup dancer for Kelly recounted an alleged moment between Kelly and the late songstress on a tour bus.

 

“We were out on the road with Aaliyah … on a tour bus there really aren’t any confined spaces … there are bunks.” While a couple of people on the bus were playing pranks on the bus, a door flew open, “Robert was having sex with Aaliyah,” Cunningham said.

 

Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton denied these allegations.

 

 

Since the docu-series aired on Lifetime, there has been so much talk revolving around the artists Kelly has worked with, people protesting to “mute” the singer’s music, new investigations and tons more.

 

For starters, Kelly was caught performing in Chicago despite his name circulating on various publications and media outlets.

 

 

Isn’t it ironic that the “Boondocks” episode highlighting Kelly’s child sex tape charge is coming to fruition in real life?

 

Kelly is starting to see those he has worked with pulling him from projects they’ve collaborated on. Some of these artists include Chance The Rapper, Lady Gaga, The Pussycat Dolls, and Celine Dion.

 

Chance the Rapper pulled his 2015 collaboration with Kelly called “Somewhere in Paradise.” The record no longer appears on Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal. However, the song is still available on SoundCloud and Apple Music’s Connect.

 

In an interview with Cassius’ Jamilah Lemieux (also a participant in the documentary), the Chicago native says recording with Kelly was a mistake.

 

Chance later tweeted an apology to all of Kelly’s survivors.

 

He stated that he also regretted not taking the numerous accusations of sexual abuse against the singer more seriously.

 

Pop Star Lady Gaga also issued an apology for working with Kelly on the record “Do What U Want.” She pulled the song from stream services.

 

Dion released a #1 hit record with Kelly in 1998 titled “I’m Your Angel.” Now with the release of the documentary and the talk around it, Dion has pulled the collaboration from all music services according to TMZ.

 

Cosigning the #MuteRKelly movement, The Pussycat Dolls also have decided to disassociate themselves from Kelly. According to TMZ, the girl group is working to pull the “Out of This Club” record from streaming services. The record, released in 2008, was also produced by the Chicago singer.

 

As the saying goes, “What’s done in the dark will soon come to light.” In the wake of the Surviving R. Kelly docu-series, Kelly is also facing legal issues.

 

A Cook County judge in Chicago has granted an inspection after the city demanded the right to get into Kelly’s warehouse/recording studio.

 

City attorneys say they suspect people may be living there, even though the building is not zoned for that purpose. According to ABC7 News, people have been reporting suspicious activity coming in and out of the building including young girls.

 

“I’m curious to see what they find inside. You know, if they’re bringing out mattresses and women’s clothing, doesn’t that say a lot to the allegation?” said Jim Lewis who owns a business right next to the space Kelly rents.

 

Now with an recent inspection, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that ten officials spent an hour inside the warehouse on Thursday, January 17.

 

At the inspection, City inspectors observed building code violations including evidence of residential use which is non-compliant with the zoning code and work performed without approved plans or permits,” a Department of Buildings spokesman said in statement.

 

The Sun-Times also reported four men that were not from Chicago entered the building prior to the officials’ arrival.

 

An unidentified man has come forward stating that he’s Kelly’s step-brother, and showed up to defend the singer.

 

“He’s not a monster. He’s a human being just like us. He’s not a monster at all,” the man said. While the unidentified man who claims to be the musician’s step-brother defends him, his daughter is not.

 

Kelly’s 20-year-old estranged daughter posted a long Instagram story regarding the sexual assault allegations surrounding her father. Buku Abi, formerly known as Joann Kelly says it’s been years since she and her two siblings have spoken to their father.

 

Their mother Andrea Kelly, who also participated in the Surviving R.Kelly docu-series hasn’t seen or spoken to him in years either.

 

Abi apologized for staying quiet about the multiple allegations from women regarding sexual abuse from her father.

 

“The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house,” Abi said. “ My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind.”

 

Abi’s full statement reads:

 

Buku here. I just want to say a few things…Before I start, I just want it to be known I am speaking from the heart, nothing I say or do not say is to hurt ANY party reading this or affected by this.

 

To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this.

 

However, It has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel. Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father. Nor do I speak on him or his behalf. I also am not fond of dealing with my personal issues or personal life through social media but, I feel things are starting to get out of hand.

 

Unfortunately, for my reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name, it has been years since my siblings, and I have seen or have spoken to him. In regards to my mother, she for the same reasonings and more have not seen or spoken to my father in years. My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life.

 

Going through all I have gone through in my life; I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt. Reminders of how terrible my father is, and how we should be speaking up against him, rude comments about my family, fabricating me, my siblings & our mothers “part” etc. Does not help my family (Me, my sister, my brother, and my mother) in our healing process. Nor does it allow a safe space for other victims who are scared to speak up.

 

The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind, my emotional state, and for MY healing. I have to do & move in a manner that is best for me. I pray anyone who reads this understands I put nothing but good intent behind each word. It took me nearly three days to write this. I just want everyone to know that I do care and I love you all. This is a very difficult subject to speak on… again, I apologize if my words don’t come out right.

 

To everyone who reached out to my family and me, sending good energy and love…Thank you. You guys helped push us through this hard time. This past year for my family has been very difficult, all the love and support you all continue to show why we keep going.

 

You all fuel us. Family, friends, followers, fans, etc..I love you guys to pieces. Your love is appreciated & always will be reciprocated. For anyone new to my page, I just ask when you come here you bring peace & nothing else.

 

Love, Buku Abi.

 

Along with his investigation in Chicago, Kelly also is being criminally investigated in Georgia, according to TMZ.

 

Sources say that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into allegations made against Kelly.

 

Investigators have been reaching out to several participants featured in the project including Asante McGee, one of Kelly’s accusers.

 

The Chief Investigator Cynthia Nwokocha has contacted an attorney for Jocelyn Savage’s family who also have been cooperating with the investigation.

 

Kelly’s criminal defense attorney, Steve Greenberg is refuting the sexual assault allegations against the singer.

 

“It’s a bunch of disgruntled people looking for their 15 minutes of TMZ fame,” Greenberg told CBS News’ Jericka Duncan.

 

Regarding the #MeToo movement, Greenberg says, “I believe that all of these women did exactly what they wanted to do. Because now there’s some hashtag, that’s not going to change.”

 

It’s also been reported that Kelly and the label he was signed to, RCA/Sony, has decided to part ways.

 

So folks, here are my final thoughts:

 

As stated above, the docu-series exposed what most already knew, and from some people on social media, I couldn’t help but see hypocrisy and selective outrage. If anything is supposed to come from this documentary, it needs to be Kelly admitting his wrongs, seeking help, and being brought to justice and along with him, all those who were complicit in his acts.

 

On the topic of muting Kelly, if the public agrees to mute him for his despicable acts, then we will have to do that for every entertainer who has sexually abused someone. That means blocking their music and other projects, overturn accolades, or future accolades, and everything under the sun. I believe in being consistent.

 

EVERYONE must be held accountable regardless of their talent, sexuality, race (our own people as well), or gender.

 

This docu-series should not be used to make Black men the face of sexual abuse or misconduct either. The topic now should be of how can we help the victims? Also, how to address sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, households, and righting wrongs to hold abusers accountable for their crimes.

 

CeeSoDope, I’m out!

 

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