Late last week, American singer, songwriter and former NBA professional basketball player R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago for 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
This is the latest development in a career filled with sexual abuse accusations and arrests. Last Saturday, a judge set the bond at $1 million for charges that Kelly abused four females over a span of 12 years. Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, stated he is pleased with the bond.
“Right now he’s presumed innocent,” Greenberg said. “We haven’t seen any reason to believe that these allegations are credible.”
However, many would say otherwise. Earlier this year Lifetime debuted a documentary series titled “Surviving R. Kelly” which had a runtime of six hours over six episodes. The series documents Kelly’s success as a singer and the sexual abuse accusations which have been prevalent throughout his career.
In 2003, Kelly was arrested on multiple counts of child pornography. However, two months later the charges were dropped after the judge said the photos were illegally obtained from Kelly’s possession. In the years following, similar accusations followed Kelly.
After more claims of abuse rose to light earlier this year, a “#MuteRKelly” movement started. Since then, multiple musicians have publicly apologized for working with Kelly in the past or collaborating in songs. Rap Artist Chance the Rapper tweeted an apology saying, “…the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls.”
Later, Pop Artist Lady Gaga voiced her regret for working with him on a song released in 2013 titled “Do What U Want.” On Twitter, she wrote, “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
Even Kelly’s estranged daughter, Joann Kelly, posted a statement on her Instagram story addressing the accusations against her father , writing “I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention… It has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel.”
Following the public backlash, Sony Music Entertainment dropped Kelly from their artist roster in mid-January, and he was removed from the RCA Records website.
The most recent allegations reveal that Kelly apparently spit on a pair of victims. This claim was supported by a shirt one of the victims wore at the time of the incident which tested positive with Kelly’s DNA. At the time of the incident, two victims were 16 years old, one was between 14 and 16 and the other was 24, according to a description by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
After Chicago police issued a warrant for his arrest Friday, Kelly turned himself in a few hours later. He was driven to the police station in a black van and wore a dark hoodie under a blue jacket and ignored questions from reporters on the scene.