After watching Dream Hampton’s riveting, factual, and disturbing six-part docuseries last week on the Lifetime channel entitled “Surviving R. Kelly,” I began asking Black folks in person and on social media what they thought about it and about him. The results were disappointing. Far too many of them, albeit a small percentage, condemned the program and commended the singer. In other words, they blamed the victims and co-signed for the man I describe as a serial pedophile predator rapist.
And here are five irrefutable points proving he’s exactly that and explaining why Black people gotta stop supporting him:
1. Kelly was never — I repeat never — found innocent of anything.
The then 35-year-old Kelly wasn’t acquitted by the Chicago jury in 2008 on charges stemming from urinating on and engaging in illicit sex acts with a 12-year-old child because he was innocent. An acquittal doesn’t legally mean a person didn’t commit the crime. It simply means a person was found not guilty, which in turn simply means the prosecution didn’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a criminal case, a jury has only three options: vote guilty or vote not guilty or be hung. Innocence— which means a person didn’t do what he/she is accused of — is not an option. Kelly wasn’t acquitted because he was innocent. He was acquitted because of the following reasons:
A. The 12-year-old girl refused to testify that she was the child in the 27 minute video of the obscene and repulsive acts despite the fact that 14 other witnesses said it was her. It’s been rumored that she and her family were paid off to have her remain silent.
B. Although she wouldn’t testify that it was her, 14 witnesses did. And one of those 14, namely Lisa Van Allen, said she knew it was that same little girl because she had a sexual threesome with her and Kelly! And Van Allen was only 17 when she met him years earlier and began an ongoing relationship with him.
C. The man in the video had the same height and build as Kelly. That same man also had a mole on his back. Kelly has a mole on his back, too. On that very same spot. Hmm.... And by the way, Kelly’s high-powered defense team never denied that the videotape was filmed in a room inside Kelly’s home.
D. Kelly issued a weirdly revealing public statement before trial that read in part, “Even though I ‘don’t believe’ any of these charges are warranted....” He said “don’t believe.” WTF?
E. Although it wasn’t part of the case, Kelly also gave a weirdly revealing interview in 2008 when Toure asked if he liked teenage girls. His response was, “When you say teenage, how old are we talking?” Once again, WTF?
2. Only creepy pedophiles possess creepy pedophile stuff.
When officers from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department got a search warrant and raided Kelly’s Davenport, Florida home in 2002, they found 12 images of him having sex with an alleged under-aged girl. Those images were on a digital camera wrapped in a towel inside a duffel bag. Unfortunately, the jury never saw those disgustingly perverted images because a second judge ruled that the first judge made a mistake by issuing the warrant because, as that second judge ruled, there was no probable cause. That doesn’t mean Kelly wasn’t on those photos performing obscenely vile sex acts on a child. It only means the police should’ve had more evidence before they found those photos.
3. Kelly didn’t tell the jury he didn’t do it.
First of all, as a criminal defense attorney for 25 years, I not only know everything there is to know about the Fifth Amendment’s right to remain silent but I also always advise my clients to assert that constitutional prerogative. However, I’m not talking about my clients. I’m talking about Kelly — the man who continues to repeatedly tell the media and especially his fans he didn’t do it. Think about it this way: if you’re a grown-assed man like him and someone falsely accused you of urinating on and raping a child, what would you do? I know what you’d do. You’d yell and scream to everyone in the world- including the jurors- that you didn’t do it, that you’re offended that anyone would accuse you of such reprehensible behavior, and that you’re gonna file a defamation suit against the girl, her family, the police, and the prosecutor. But he didn’t say or do any of that. I wonder why? Hmm....
4. You get what you pay for or you pay for what you get.
If Kelly is so innocent as his blind, deaf, and very dumb fans claim, why did he settle in civil court with at least three accusers who sued him or threatened to sue him for having sex with them as minors or coercing sex with them as young adults? In one case in 1998, he paid $250,000 and settled with Tiffany Hawkins who was only 15 when, as she stated, they had sexual relations.
5. Men don’t marry babies or lie about it after having married babies.
On August 31, 1994, 27-year-old Kelly married 15-year-old Aaliyah. Three months earlier, he produced her album entitled “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.”
Marrying a 15-year-old is a crime in Illinois. That’s why, as his manager, Demetrius Smith admitted in 2018, he got a fake ID claiming she was 18. By the way, Aaliyah was introduced to Kelly by her uncle Barry Hankerson when she was only 12. You mean to tell me Kelly thought three years later that she was 18? You crazy!
Although both Kelly and Aaliyah publicly claimed they were never married, the marriage was annulled in 1995 by a Michigan judge. Moreover, in 1997, Aaliyah sued in Cook County, Illinois to have the marriage records expunged. But how could it be annulled or expunged if it never happened? Hmm....
For these five and many other reasons, Black folks gotta stop supporting the man who proudly refers to himself as the “Pied Piper of R&B,” which is a character in an old fable who used music to lure and kidnap 130 children who were never seen again.
Black folks gotta stop defending him on social media. By the way, big shout out to several of my 5,000 Facebook friends who responded to my request to screenshot some of the craziest Kelly co-signing comments by his crazy co-signing fans. And an extra special big shout-out to my loyal Facebook friends Robert Cunningham, Shauna Bain Smith, Tia Burroughs Clayton, Terrell Williams, Breon Breezy Marley, Michele Ford, Stacy Lacroix, Johannah Marie, Wayne Burner Account Dunn, and Stang Brumfield Young- all of whom found and sent me some great screenshots of some of the craziest Kelly-defending Facebook comments available. I’ll publicly read what they sent me when I host my “Radio Courtroom” show on WURD96.1FM this Sunday.
Although this column is about R. Kelly, the problem is much bigger and more widespread than him. But there’s a sistah who can help fix that. She’s Dr. Monique Howard, Executive Director of Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR). She’s an expert on the topic of child and adult rape and rape culture. WOAR can be reached at woar.org and at (215)985-3315.
In conclusion, spread the hashtag #MuteRKelly. And don’t forget to read the profound words on the photo next to the title of this article. And then read it to your family and friends. And tell them all to do the same.