Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture

Reporting The Saga Of R. Kelly

Recording artist R. Kelly (shown here in 2007) is being accused of holding women in sexual relationships against their will. He denies the allegations.
Recording artist R. Kelly (shown here in 2007) is being accused of holding women in sexual relationships against their will. He denies the allegations.

Buzzfeed News recently published an investigative report about the musician R. Kelly, quoting sources who said Kelly “is running an abusive ‘cult’ that’s tearing families apart.”

The journalist behind the story, Jim DeRogatis, has been reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct against Kelly for 17 years:

“This is a trail, two and a half decades long, of dozens of young African-American women whose lives have been ruined by R. Kelly,” DeRogatis told Vox. “This is not Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his cousin or Elvis and Priscilla, or Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Lori Maddox. This is different. It is a horrifying document of a rape in real time. The women who have talked to me on the record, describing the living conditions in Kelly’s ‘cult’ — their word — allegedly. It’s horrifying.”

Kelly was previously acquitted in a child pornography case that first brought questions about his alleged behavior with children to national attention and forced his fans to make a choice. In the wake of DeRogatis’ latest story, petitions have been created to get Kelly off of his label and off the radio.

Kelly has denied the allegations. His attorney, Linda Mensch, told People “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him … Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”

After the latest story, which was almost never published, is it becoming harder for R. Kelly fans to separate his art from the artist?

GUESTS

Jim DeRogatis, Co-host, Sound Opinions; Music Critic and Blogger, WBEZ; @jimderogatis

For more, visit http://the1a.org.

© 2017 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.