R. Kelly has been accused of sleeping with underage girls who cannot legally consent for decades.
The R. Kelly comeuppance continues as we awakened to see him engaged in manic hysterics during a recent interview on CBS This Morning with Gayle King. The questions surrounding R. Kelly’s affinity for underage girls have been well-documented over the past 20 years. These allegations that date back to his time with deceased singer Aaliyah up through recent claims that more than one video showing him sexually assaulting an underage girl has surfaced.
The interview was telling on several levels.
Recently, Kelly has been dropped from Sony Music because of the allegations and his daughter spoke out against him as well. A man is suffering, and only the completely inhumane would be devoid of at least feeling discomfort upon seeing such a thing.
But the visceral reaction that initially racked my gut upon seeing a human being beg for his life on national television was made meaningless by thoughts of the contemporary and historic evidence that has mounted against him.
“I’m fighting for my f*cking life” are the words that struck the hardest. But the what about the girls? The girls who carried the guilt and shame of silence into adulthood?
Under the weight of Gayle King’s unrelenting line of questioning, Kelly insists that each of the over 50 people who spoke out against him on the recent Lifetime Surviving R. Kelly documentary produced by Dream Hampton are lying on him.
He further insisted that people are dredging up old rumors for personal gain via the echo chamber that social media provides.
But “old” for R. Kelly’s alleged habits only dates back as far as 2008 when he was acquitted of 14 counts of child pornography because the jury failed to reach a unanimous agreement on whether the individual in the video was Kelly.
Last month he was arrested on four charges of criminal abuse with four different women, three of which claim they were underage when the abuse took place.
Through the unblinking inquisition R. Kelly continually insisted that he was being lied on and that the entire situation is being fueled by scorned women from his past.
During the interview, he also addressed rumors that say he is holding women against their will and deciding when they can eat or if they can leave the house. However, he continually danced around the issue of sleeping with underage girls.
Eventually, he began to plead directly to the camera, as if the world had the ability to vote on his fate via Twitter poll.
To be certain, the entire interview leaves one with an unclean mental palate at its conclusion. Furthermore, there are plenty of individuals on social media who are aghast at CBS and Gayle King for giving R. Kelly a platform to tell his side of the story in a case with such horrific implications.
But if the venerable Gayle King didn’t do the interview on CBS, someone would have done it elsewhere. At least with Gayle we know that it’s going to be an actual interview, i.e. real journalism, rather than a glorified segment of Extra.
Let’s summarize, a grown man who once went on trial on child pornography charges is once against accused of having sex with children. Yet, his strongest rebuff is that he beat his charges?
Disgusting and callous.
It should also be noted that R. Kelly, who appeared to criminalize himself in a similar manner during his last trial when he did an interview in which he was famously quoted as saying,
“When you say teenage how old are we talking?” to clarify a question asked by Toure, then at BET, when asked if he like teenage girls.
His publicist was noticeably present during the interview, and it is my guess said PR rep looks horrible for allowing his client to repeat a mistake he has made several times in the past, addressing legal issues on national television. At the very least, he doesn’t have the tact or intelligence to get his point across.
Whether guilty or innocent, this disgusting circumstance, one that is nearly 25 years in the making, is heartbreaking while simultaneously being indicative of the pitfalls of having a famous ego. With all the evidence and public opinion mounted against him over the years, he is still blocked headed enough to believe he can wiggle off the hook.
To add to the sleaziness of it all, Kelly appeared to blame the parents of the girls he slept with, accusing them of turning on him when the money ran out.
I cannot sympathize for a Cheshire cat nor crocodile. So, no, I won’t be crying for R. Kelly either. But the pedophile cultures that permeate American society continue to grind up the young into shriveled shells as they grow into adulthood. That needs to be addressed in a groundbreaking, non-superficial way.