American singer and songwriter R Kelly was arrested on charges of child pornography after his ex-girlfriend Lisa Van Allen leaked a sex tape showing the singer allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl. The infamous underage sex tape is the focus of the second part of the three-part documentary – Surviving R Kelly, which aired on Friday night.
The documentary includes interviews with numerous women involved in the R Kelly sex scandals involving minors, including Allen, who stole the tape from Kelly’s library and handed it to a Chicago journalist.
Soon after the documentary aired on the Lifetime channel, some viewers reached out for help to sexual abuse hotlines. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) tweeted out a link to their hotline before the airing of the R Kelly documentary.
Watching or reading about "Surviving R. Kelly" and need to talk? The National Sexual Assault Hotline is here 24/7—800.656.HOPE and https://t.co/j9dQGwplI2.
— RAINN (@RAINN) January 4, 2019
It was also reported that the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which connects victims to emotional support, information and resources, received a 27% increase in calls, a few of which could possibly escalate further after the conclusion of Surviving R Kelly. Just how many young girls did R Kelly have intimate and inappropriate relations with?
Allen was just 17 at the time, and believed she was in a relationship with the singer solely for the fact that she spent all her time with him, and was often having sexual intercourse with him. However, during the interview she said that she started seeing him in a different light after he convinced her to have a threesome with him and another girl, but he did not reveal the girl’s age. It was later revealed that the girl was only 14 years old at the time.
Stephanie Edwards, known as “Sparkle”, was the one to introduce R Kelly to the young victim, who was also her niece. However, she revealed over time that she went from surprised, to concerned, then eventually disgusted at the relationship R Kelly had with the teen.
This caused Edwards to speak out against the singer and testify during his trial. At the said trial, which took place back in 2008, Edwards testified that the video, filmed in 2000, showed R Kelly and her niece. Allen did the same, which led to jurors watching the entire tape.
However, R Kelly was acquitted by the jury and after avoiding jail time and ultimately justice, R Kelly went on to sleep with a 14-year-old high school freshman who had been camping outside the courthouse just to see him. Seemingly, R Kelly’s harem of underage girls, was much more than an urban legend, and more of a factual and regular occurrence, with no end in sight for his thirst in nearly pre-pubescent girls, after R Kelly escaped any further charges in his latest case. The high school freshman also appeared in the documentary and shared her troubling story.
A number of other women spoke out about their horrific experiences with the singer, including backup singers who detailed sexual relations between R Kelly and three other girls under the age of 16, including 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash back in 2001.
As we can all recall, R Kelly married the now deceased Aaliyah, back when she was only fifteen years old, after obtaining a fake document stipulating that she was 18-years old. Aaliyah later died in a mysterious plane crash, and many often wonder as to if R Kelly had anything to do with her death.
The fresh allegations made against R Kelly in the documentary are subject to prosecution in a number of US states, including Illinois, where he also lived as a resident in Chicago.
In the documentary, Kelly was portrayed as both manipulative and violent, with an undeniable attraction to very young girls, who allegedly demanded they call him “daddy”.
In 2002, an infamous and sickening video of R Kelly peeing on an underage girl surfaced, after it was leaked by an insider to the Chicago Sun Times, right before Kelly was to perform at the Winter Olympics. By June 2002, he was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography, and was later apprehended by Miami police on a Chicago arrest warrant. R Kelly never went to jail, amidst the underage sexual acts and controversies around his name, since the charges were later dropped or considered as void due to the police search warrants which were obtained, were not garnered in the correct manner.
R Kelly pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case, and the jury later found him not guilty on 14 counts back in 2008, making him a free man, after some six years of scrutiny, after several trial delays. His music comeback followed, however, fresh allegations of him running a sex cult of underage girls remained in tact.
Lizzette Martinez was just one of his many victims, who met the singer when she was 17, and claimed she was the victim of both mental and physical abuse during their relationship.
“He stole my life from me being abused like this” she said in the interview. “I don’t think he understands girls that are young, how impressionable we are and how traumatic these experiences are. They change you forever.”
After the airing of the documentary and the well-deserved exposure, we hope R Kelly is finally brought to justice after all these years, and the victims of his cruel actions get the closure they truly deserve.
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Photo Credit: ConsequenceofSound.net