R. Kelly's Dark Past Sparks Twitter Debate

New article details sex allegations against singer.

Posted: 12/17/2013 10:03 AM EST
Filed Under Music News

R. Kelly

R. Kelly's past has come back to haunt him once again. 

A week after the #AskRKelly trending topics didn't go as planned, Twitter is back to debating Mr. Kelly, this time over a Village Voice story published on Monday (Dec. 16) detailing the number of sexual allegations brought against the singer over the years, and how he's eluded criminal punishment. 

Journalist Jessica Hopper interviewed former Chicago Sun-Times writer Jim DeRogatis, who broke the original Kelly sex story over a decade ago. Although Kelly's reported exploits with underage girls have long been made public, Hopper's articles introduce more evidence widely ignored by the media. Among the findings are more than a dozen rape accusations against the father of two, and deeper information as to how he allegedly beat several criminal counts for child pornography. 

According to the article, Kelly was a neighborhood sex predator routinely visiting his former high school to pick up young girls, and paid off victims and their families in exchange for their silence. Hopper points out that one girl, an eighth grader, attempted suicide when her sexual relationship with Kelly ended. The girl allegedly helped the R&B crooner groom other youngsters for sex as well. Another teen victim was picked up by Kelly on her prom night, and later forced to have an abortion, the articles says. 

Despite the public documentation outlining Kelly's reported sex crimes against minors, the allegations have not necessarily hurt his career. "The saddest fact I've learned is nobody matters less to our society than young Black women. Nobody," said DeRogatis.

Like DeRogatis, some in the Twitterverse feel both the media and Kelly's fans have chosen to turn a blind eye to his past. "Folks saying, 'If he didn't make such a sexual album it wouldn't be a problem,' suggests people are mad their ignorance wasn't catered to," tweeted writer Jozen Cummings, who questioned whether being a supporter of [Kelly's] music makes one a defender of his actions.

Some would argue yes, like the Clutch magazine article "Why Does Anyone Still Think It's OK to Listen to R.Kelly?" earlier this month.

On the contrary, Kelly was acquitted of wrong doing, so while the debate continues, the 46-year-old isn't focused on the media fodder. When asked for a response to the report, he sidestepped the controversy entirely. "Well, I feel like I got the football, man," he told Big Tigger on Atlanta's V103 radio station. "I'm running towards the touchdown and stopping and looking back. Mess around, I'll get tackled."  

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  (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

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