The resurgence of decades-old scrutiny over R. Kelly and the sexual misconduct he’s been accused of seems to finally be culminating in some real action that could have some long-lasting damage to the singer and his career. The Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and the multiple allegations from young women featured in it have set off a firestorm surrounding the singer’s apparent predilection for underage girls and young women who are Black.
The pressure was apparently too much for R. Kelly’s record label, which announced Friday it had removed him from its roster of entertainers. Sony Music severed ties with R. Kelly on Friday, Variety reported.
That news came just hours after R. Kelly’s former manager turned himself into law enforcement in Georgia over an outstanding warrant. Keith McBrayer was “accused of threatening the father of Joycelyn Savage,” one of the women featured “Surviving R. Kelly,” CNN reported.
Aside from the police investigation in Georgia, the Cook County states attorney in Chicago was asking women to come forward they had any accusations against R. Kelly that were similar to those documented on “Surviving R. Kelly.”
In a press conference last week, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the first Black woman in that role, said, “In order to have an investigation, we have to have victims and witnesses who are willing to come forward with information. Allegations of domestic violence or sexual assault require someone to say what they’ve seen, heard or experienced.”
Asante McGee, another R. Kelly accuser, told a Georgia TV news station that living with the singer was “hell” and called him “the devil.”
R. Kelly has been dogged by allegations of pedophilia and being a sexual predator on young females for a quarter of a century since he married the late singer Aaliyah when she was 15. He was acquitted on child porn charges despite a damning video that seemed to show him having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
But now, it would seem as though R. Kelly’s time was up.
Chicago police confronted him last Friday, shortly before a report came out saying R. Kelly used to physically abuse Aaliyah. In addition, sex abuse hotlines have seen a surge in calls since “Surviving R. Kelly” was shown on TV at the beginning of the month. Perhaps worst of all for R. Kelly, several of his accusers have retained the legal services of Gloria Allred, a high-powered attorney who most recently represented women who accused convicted sex criminal Bill Cosby of misconduct.
Sony dropping him from the label very well could be the final nail in the coffin that Kelly’s career has become.