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'Surviving R. Kelly': Documenting Decades Of Abuse From The R&B Singer
This message comes from on points sponsor rocket mortgage by Quicken Loans. Introducing rate shield approval if you qualify, and if rates go up your rate stays the same. But if rates go down, you'll rate also drops to learn more, go to rocketmortgage dot com slash on point. From WBU are Boston and NPR. I'm David Folkenflik in this his on point this hour may not be appropriate for all listeners, it's upsetting. And and it should be upsetting for taking time to talk about a Grammy winning superstar performer with a silky voice. A man whose ballots powered many high school graduation and church service. A chart-topping sensation we're talking about the r&b superstar R Kelly and we're talking about the devastation. He is wrought porting to woman after woman who has surfaced with accusations. He compelled them to have sex with him underage accusations of being manipulated accusations of being brainwashed yet. Most of this is not new in fact, it started decades ago a new lifetime documentary has refocused our attention on Kelly's behavior. So why did it take so long for us to pay attention? Why did we turn away this hour on point R Kelly and ourselves join us given what we now know about R Kelly, or at least what we're learning. How does that change? How you think? About him and his music, and what did you think about the lifetime documentary? You can join us anytime at on point radio dot org or on Twitter and Facebook on point radio with us from Culver city. California is dream Hampton. She's a writer and filmmaker and the executive producer of the new lifetime documentary surviving are Kelly dream great to have you here. Thank you for having me. Joining us from Boston, Massachusetts, Renee Graham, she's an associate editor in columnist for the Boston Globe previously. She wrote a weekly column for the globe on pop culture and music Rene. Great to talk to you, David. Also, join us from Tempe. Arizona is my old boss Bill Wyman. He is among other things the former arts editor of salon, and the former assistant managing editor at NPR his writing on the arts and media has appeared in many publications and his latest in BuzzFeed news is how did the media get the Celtics are Kelly story so wrong. The New York Times led the way high a Bill. Hey, david. How are you? Thanks for having me, of course. So let's start with you dream you. A lot of time you produced a just searing six hour documentary for lifetime. Keep just distill for those of our listeners who may know r Kelly's music, but may not know the full story distill, what the cases against our Kelly. Tell us what the accusations are that count. Yeah. For nearly three decades R Kelly has built an ecosystem around his predation. He has been accused by women after woman many of them were girls when they met him teenagers are post teenagers, and they have the exact same story from different periods in his life of not only being preyed upon but being physically abused of having their movement controlled of being cut off from their families of being refused food. So this is definitely the foundation for this work for this docu series is. Jim, dear goddesses, heroic and relentless reporting. He broke the story the third week in December of two thousand and kind of never stopped and of course, last year in BuzzFeed, he published stories about where and what are Kelly was doing in this very moment. And in twenty nine thousand nine there are two families still hoping to be in contact with their daughters. One of whom are Kelly disappeared at seventeen and the other at nineteen. I wanna play a clip of one of our Kelly's super fans who he met when she was just thirty five years old. Her name is Asante McGee. She was interviewed in your documentary. She started dating. R Kelly eventually she moved into his Atlanta house Mitha actually met him personally against because I would just so much of that fan. I just couldn't see him as being that muster. But now actually being in the house in witnessing with my own eyes. I regret not listening in believe in of the allegations that happened. There's a difference between right, Kellyanne, Robert. Our Kelly is this fun laughing loving died. But Robert is the devil. Dream hampton. What was it like to speak of these to these women for your documentary? It should me to my core. I knew that this was going to be a dark story, and I don't think do hard. How dark it? We get the parents in particular had a real desperation in the I mean at this point. There are no spoiler alert a lot of people have seen this. But in upper sewed five we have an actual rescue. We flew a mother out to sit with us. We intended to interview her in the studio as we had the other parents, and she had seen attempts video and thought she might be able to find her daughter, and we had to follow her on that journey. We couldn't tell her to do anything. We always had legal breathing down our neck, which I appreciate it. And she literally gets her daughter out of a hotel where are Kelly had kind of stashed her as he went to a spot date. So I mean, yeah, there was a spectrum of emotions, and we're still in it. We're still in touch with. The two families who desperately want their two dollars back the Cleris and the savages. Renee Graham, this is a story about a world famous artists and these incredible allegations they involve women like Asante Mckee who was thirty five. They also involve a lot of women who said they were well underage when when our Kelly I went after them the story starting in some ways in the public view when when R Kelly than twenty-seven Mary's the woman who becomes a popstar Elliott who's then fifteen years old though, I think on the birth certificate that was light. How did fans react to that? And other developments that came into public view reporting by the Chicago Sun-Times the police investigation, how did fans react to R Kelly the artist and R Kelly the man, I don't think people make distinction between our Kelly the artists and R Kelly the man and that may be part of the problem. You know, there's a six year gap between when our Kelly Mary's Leah. And when Jim regardless is first story come out in Chicago pay. It was kind of a joke. No one really took it seriously. People were kind of like, oh, wow. He married a leash. She's only fifteen but it never had any traction in the way that I thought it would. I assumed it would be like, you know, what it was in nineteen fifties. When Jerry Lee Lewis, married his thirteen year old cousin and effectively his career ended, you know, he continued to perform, but he never again reached the heights that he he wants had that didn't happen at all with our Kelly. He just kept putting music out the music kept selling and the conscious kept selling it almost felt like like nobody cared. And then when the when the stories come out in Chicago papers about our Kelly. There was this kind of people whistled disgusted and annoyed. But it didn't really do anything to his career at if that's the thing. I never quite understood. Like, you know, you had all of these details in the story about R Kelly hanging out at McDonalds hanging out at high schools and picking up underage girls, and it never stopped his momentum. As. An artist it was it was it was really disconcerting him that. Then you had to ask yourself. Why that was? You know? I'm just looking at some of the details here. He's the one of the best selling music artists in the US with over thirty million albums sold listed by billboard is the most successful R&_B hip, hop artist of the years, nineteen eighty five to two thousand ten and the most successful r and b artist in history. Bill Wyman you've covered. Musical accident and figures for decades, how does this fit in in the pantheon of scandal? Where does our Kelley student? Well, it's in a way, I guess, maybe there's been some people murdered people. But it's uniquely awful. And the answer to the problem that we're all nagging with. I think from my particular purchase that the media sort of helped R Kelly along in just one very specific way, which is just not telling readers and viewers. What exactly the allegations were against him? And I and I hate to bring this up because I know there's people driving to work our home from work right now. But but what we knew by the year two thousand or two thousand and three where that he filmed himself having sex with underage girls. It's very well known who the woman was and how old she was. And again, I hate to say this, but there's video of him urinating into her mouth and face number deeper to right after that he was arrested in Florida with a camera full of pictures of him ING sex with under under other underage girls. And that case was thrown out on a legal technicality. Okay. So now, of course, every artist every accused person deserves the right to be assumed innocent etcetera etcetera, but at the same time there's a difference between someone accusing someone a he said she said or what they call circumstantial evidence. And the fact that these videos and pictures exist out there and the obvious inferences you can draw from that. So I personally thought one of my pet peeves through the whole process is the media hasn't shared just this basic information with people which could have helped change the trajectory of the way, he's used by the public, and I want to say his lawyer Steve Greenberg said to the this month, the allegations aren't true, he never knowingly had sex with underage woman. Never forced anyone to do. Anything? Never held anyone captive. Never abused. Anyone? I want to briefly go to yellow springs. Ohio Carmen, you're on the air. Why do you think this happened? Hi, you know, for me kinda the elephant in the room. So to speak is the fact that the things that ties all this together is that all of the women and young girls that he victimized are women and young girls of color. So, you know, Jerry, the Jerry Lewis things a little different. He got shut down immediately. Because you know, he married his younger cousin, but she was a little girl. Right. So the fact that this has been allowed to go on for so long without any repercussions for our Kelly. And in fact, not only whether or no repercussions his career continued to skyrocket is because these girls were were black girls, you know, and it kind of speaks to the lack of value that this country has four girls and women of color. Thank you for that. Call commun-. I appreciate it. A briefly Renee Graham how does that strike you as an explanation? I think she's absolutely right. I I can't believe that are Kelly would have been allowed to get away with this. If these were white girls white women, he was abusing it. That's I mean, that's really the heart. Breaking thing about this. You know on one hand. Yes. The media blue at the media didn't get it wrong. The media just ignored it. But so did the public, you know, the people who buying his records? They knew you know, they heard the stories they saw the jokes on Chapelle show. They heard the jokes that Chris rock made. You know, it became a punchline that was the problem here. And indeed one of our listeners writes in on Twitter, Michael downs asks really did know an on point radio watch ship hell show in two thousand three question is why we turned a blind eye. Not wise conduct escaped our attention. We'll be talking about race. We're talking about the media and more as we consider the case of our Kellyanne decades of allegations. Against him. You can join our conversation. Can we separate the art from the artist should be how did he survive so long with all these allegations out there? I'm David Folkenflik in. This is on point. This message comes from an points sponsor, indeed when it comes to hiring. You don't have time to waste you need help getting to your shortlist of qualified candidates fast with indeed post a job in minutes. Set up screener questions then zero in on qualified candidates. And when you need to hire fast, accelerate your results with sponsored jobs. New users can try for free when you sign up at indeed dot com slash NPR, podcast, terms, conditions, and quality standards apply. What's unique about the human experience? And what are we all have in common? I'm guy Roz every week on Ted radio hour, we go on a journey to the big ideas, emotions and discoveries that fill all of us with wonder find it on NPR one or wherever you get your podcasts. This is on point. I'm David Folkenflik. We're talking about our Kelly and the recent lifetime documentary highlighting his alleged abuse of women. You can join the conversation for our Kelly fans. How do you feel about his music now follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at on point radio? I'm joined by Rene Graham, she's associated and columnist for the Boston Globe. Bill Wyman, the longtime music and arts, journalist and dream Hampton. She's executive producer of the new lifetime documentary surviving R Kelly I think it's worth hearing another voice from that documentary. Lizanne Martinez met our Kelly in one thousand nine hundred ninety five a couple years after a sees me just a year after he had married. A leah. Who's then fifteen years old was at Martinez herself said she had sex with him when she was aged seventeen here. She recounts living with our Kelly. I felt like a sex object. You know, he would to say as someone help you with your career music was my joy. So I felt like my dreams come true. I just kind of like listen to him and said, okay, you know, and stay there by myself. He will have people follow me because he told me as much if you leave his hotel room or go anywhere. I have my voice following you. And I know everything that you're doing. So I was very fearful when hear from him for days, and then we come back, and it was just sex in Butte and. Mental and physical abuse. Dream hampton. We have a a a listener who writes in on point radio the bottom line is that our Kelly's behavior was ignored for as long as it was because we as a society don't value black girls that question again raised a buyer earlier listener Carmen, if these had been white girls, Sarah rights, they would have been more protected in the reporting that you and your colleagues did for your documentary how much evidence did you find support that or or what did you conclude on that question? Of course, I agree with Renee agreed with the person who vote in and it's one of the reasons that I approached and agreed to do this project because we had a vision of century, the black women and Liz at who is Latino and and centering them not doing a bio pic on our Kelly. So it's very important for me that we hear and see them tell their stories, which is different than reading it. But I also over the past year obvious. I've been thinking deeply about this. And it's a little more complicated than that. Also. I mean, our Kelly is someone who was able to do what he did because he operates under a series of closed and locked doors often with the lock on the outside of the door in a very literal way. But metaphorically that is also how he operates that trial where so you have people now who can say while he was found not guilty. Even though they know he's not innocent. And how was he found not guilty because the fourteen year old that he was abusing in the tape that Bill described refuse to testify. She was still with him ten years later when another one of our survivors kitty, you know, is in a relationship with him. And he introduces her to the girl who was fourteen when he abused her on the tape and at this point is twenty four and still close our Kellyanne in his life. So there was no one to testify against him. As Bill said that the Florida case fall apart on a technicality. There is a way that Chicago is not New York or or LA. So he was in his cloistered world inviting women into this cloistered world and girls and then throwing away the key. Once he locked them into these rooms there were women who would be in the studio who didn't see each other friends who had come as as kind of fans of his in it agreed to have sex, even though they were teenagers and couldn't legally consent and couldn't find each other in the house because it was that cordoned off. So I'm not giving fans like an excuse or letting them off the hook. But there has been a very complicated way that he has done what he does. He's built an entire ecosystem around it. You know? It was interesting just to be clear about the case that you're talking about the sometimes for instance, I allegations. The sex with minors in late two thousand is you said February two thousand two the Chicago police revealed an investigation into alleged child pornography, which is what some years later in two thousand eight he goes on trial for rather than underage sex. Remind us Bill Wyman white was that those were the charges. He was you know, as opposed to save statutory rape that he was pursued with right? And you'd think that'd be the case. And there was actually, of course, a network of young girls who had been charging him with this. And these cases tend to get eaten charges filed irt cases civil cases that he would settle out of court. So obviously, he's settling a lot of these charges in the background and the police were frustrated along the way because they couldn't get any of the victims to actual text testify or the girl's parents and one of the sad things about the girl in that one tape world talking about is that her parents worked with Kelly, and the the media has been very reluctant to name them. Because when you identify the parents, you end up denting the girl, but both of her parents was. Plo were part of our Kelly's inner circle. Okay. So you had all these pre what are presumed to have been payoffs. And then so the prosecutors decided, okay? Well, we can't get the victims on the stand. We can at least establish that. This woman was underage by by unbelievable testimonies. I had to say this in my story to that. They had a woman on the stand who says, yes, I know that's the woman because I had group sex with her and R Kelly that was filmed as well. But they did not. They did not convince the jury, and of course, Kelly deserves to have that noted as well as his denials a dream. Go ahead. It's sound like he wanted to say. Yeah, I'm sorry to interrupt Bill. I just wanted to note that her aunt the singer sparkle Stephanie Edwards. Heroically did take the stand and identify her knees and say, so she had a family member that was advocating for her when she didn't know to advocate for herself. And when her family was unwilling to advocate for her and sparkle, you know, lost her. Entire career. She was a protege of our Kelly's. He was writing songs for her. This is back when there was a music industry, the one video that well, the the two or three videos that she had were well over they were six figure budget videos. There was an investment in sparkle. And she threw that away to stand up for her fourteen year old niece who she coming from a family of musicians and singers had introduced are Kelly when the girl was only twelve not in a here's my niece. Let me offer up to you. But in I live in the studio. My niece is coming by my brother plays bass on some of you, you, you know. I mean, he's right Bilas, right. It's complicated. And it's sick often. And the girls were sacrificed that girl in particular, not just by the public. But by sometimes the people closest to them who failed to protect them. I wanna take a call now from Baltimore Maryland. Kelly sounds like you did watch this series. What did you take from it? Thank you for taking like, oh, yeah. I really enjoyed the docu series. And the question that I could away with is what is it going to take to pool? Our Kylie legally. I wanna ball. I think that we're room and reckoning as Sidey that will no longer Stanford, but with the statute of limitations that around sexual abuse missile charges. These so many states what is it gonna take to get us this year? Thank you for that Kelly. Anyone wanna wanna swing at that pitch? What do you think is there is there any of there have been a couple of of investigations launched? A as I understand it in the wake of the documentary and recent reporting from from. A gym on at on bud feed taking a raising questions about whether or not he's forcing to women to do things against their will wh-. What do you see actually likely to be able to hold our Kelly accountable? It is very complicated. Because I think a lot of people like me were journalists and in a way, I I have to let the court system take. Its course, I, you know, I accept it that all a lot of these people get get off on these big charges are Kelly the most prominent Bill Cosby, obviously didn't someone like Roman Polanski obviously had to flee to escape punishment for these sorts of charges. So the system sometimes worked sometimes doesn't and as a journalist you can't kind of bemoan that or or or I I guess I you can. But that's not really my job. And I think it just comes back to all of us. Standing up is people journalists doing their jobs and just insisting that the word. You the words are Kelly has to include a comma who. Who blankety blankety blank really interesting test case, if I can go back to Roman Polanski, he was treated the same way just to be clear, the famous director of Chinatown in so many other incredible movies, right? Who was accused of having sex with a child back in the seventies and jumped on an SST overnight from LA right on the eve of being sentenced, and and a lot of people sort of say, oh, he was a Randy European and he fell afoul of American morality and stuff. Like that. Again. I hate to talk on the X rated fashion. But what happened is that he fee found this thirteen-year-old girl, he isolated her and you in an empty mansion gave her champagne gave required lewd and raped her and then Ainley raped her. And that's what the plea. That's what she told the kid the police the next morning, right? And over the years when you don't explain that to people they think, oh, it's just sort of a little she was seventeen or something like that. And I think that we sort of the journalists need to kind of make people confront the facts of the case. And then we can debate it, and we don't sort of acclimate people to the. Sort of lack of precision that sort of really pays to the benefit of the celebrity. Right. I mean, it kinda doesn't it? It's part of the it's if you're doing something that the PR team is high five in themselves about journalists should question themselves. And I think that's the first step, and then people need to step up and say, hey, I'm not gonna let my kids go to an R Kelly concert because you can imagine what goes on backstage an art Kelly concert, but he got to tour for fifteen more years. It seems to me that the story is an incredible, you know, bleed Bess of of elements of race of gender of class of money power of fame. And you know, it's also now happening in a slightly different moment. It's the metoo moment in two thousand seventeen is. I mentioned the reporting revealed that what appeared to be groups of young women living in our Kelly's homes families came up publicly and begged for their daughters to return home among the people interviewed for the lifetime. Documentary was Toronto Burke, she's founder of the metoo movement. And she said, no one seemed to be listen. To these families these families came forward and we're making desperate pleas to get their children back to get their their daughters. Back home and away from our Kelly. We've been watching them since they came forward and twenty seventeen tried various attempts to get media attention. But it doesn't take hold. And again, I think that goes back into this idea that black girls don't matter. They don't matter enough, and it's proven over and over again, we're Nate Graham, we have kind of consensus today that on this discussion that young black women and young black girls weren't taken seriously enough in this case, how are we looking at this differently? In light of the metoo movement that Toronto Burke helped to launch the metoo movement really sort of broke nationally and worldwide in late twenty seventeen I think there was an idea that here was a moment when people need to revisit our Kelly's. And if we were going to talk about predation, and we're gonna talk about sexual assault and men in positions of power. Our than how weren't we talking about our Kelly? And so there was this little push to get his name back out there and start talking about what he's done what he's been accused of. And the women who've accused him the thing to remember is that yes, I absolutely do believe that the public reception has been different because the victims have been have been women of color. But I also think you almost brings us back to the idea of blaming women and victim blaming and the fact that we heard this would Harvey Weinstein, we heard this Bill Cosby, and we hearing it again with our Kelly that somehow these girls and women they wanted it. They force themselves on these men would have to rape these women 'cause they're famous they can get any woman, they want, you know, that narrative never really goes away. And so you have to really even go back. You know, you separate the two, you know, society doesn't care about women, but society, really really doesn't care about black women. And so you sort of put those two things together. And it was almost like a story made to be ignored a one thing. We haven't really talked about about. And yet is you know, we've talked about the media. But we haven't really talked about the fans, and the fact that you know, and it needs to be said are Kelly's fan base is black. You know, I don't know a lot of white people listen to our Kelly, and I certainly don't know a lot of black men who listened listening are Kelly. So I would say the bulk of our Kelly's fan base is black women. And so what do you do with that? What do you do when you go to these shows? And you look you see these clips, and you see all of these women screaming for our Kelly twenty five years after we first started here acusations about his mistreatment of women and girls, you know, that's really heartbreaking when you think about it. And I think that's as complicated in this as as any aspect of this case, Rennie Graham, you know, he obviously earned the dick names, the king of ARIN be the king of pop soul. He sold. He went three Grammys for I believe I can fly and at four more top forty hits than any other male solo artist in the nineteen nineties you mentioned it's fan. Base mostly African Americans mostly female fans often very young female fans at that. As we saw in this documentary and have seen over the years. There's an element of race though, that that one of our callers raised which was a question of him as a black man under attack and under occupation. How did? The sense of him being and battled play out among a prominent African Americans and among African American institutions as over the years. Well, you know, I I think there is a sense because you look at the history of this country, and what's been done to to to black people. What's been done to black men, and this idea that they're always being torn down there always being accused always being attacked? So if you're within that community, I think there's an instinct to want to protect them from that. And I think Jim dear God has made a very interesting point in a recent interview where he said, he he thinks the reason why a lot of people ignored his reportings because he's a he Nicole himself a fat white guy and that immediately people felt like, oh, it's this white man going after our great black idle. You know, that's you know, the history of this country is what it is. But you know, it doesn't mean that every single person has to be uplifted. And if you have someone within your community who's harming your community, which is exactly what our Kelly has been doing for for deck. Aids. I think you have to let that person go. There's no point in defending that person a dream Hampton. We only have a couple minutes left before the end of the segment of the show. But there was this thing that I read in preparing for this in which a one of his r Kelly's former aides as talking to a records executive and the record executive says, okay before we signed the contract is there anything is there anything to some of these accusations. What about that tape and referring I believed the tape in which he's urinating on on a young woman on underage woman. And the aide says have you seen it in record second says no and the ad says I haven't either if I did I wouldn't be able to work for him. How much of this industry was based on willfully looking away. Well, I think that we have done that historically with so many of our public figures, and I didn't want us to be able to do that anymore. I wanted his fans who as Rene said are us are black women. I my mentions on Twitter would also tell you that plenty of black men are fans of his or at least coming to his defense in this moment. And he's a fifty one year old Aren B singer. So his fate was at this point to kind of slip into a relevance. He has been holding on and doing spot dates and there's been heroin work by organizers like mute Kelly who have tried to deny him some of this income to create a kind of professional death. And I think that that work is legitimate. And I believe in black girls and black women. You're hearing the voice there of dream Hampton. She's executive producer of the new lifetime documentary surviving R Kelly as well as the columnist in Boston Globe, editor Renee Graham, and Bill Wyman, the music journalist, we're discussing R Kelly and the sexual abuse allegations against him and our society's reaction to what we've learned. You can join our conversation. What's your question for our guest today? I'm David Folkenflik in. This is on point. Izenberg? Join me on NPR's ask me another as we challenge. Contestants and celebrities to nerdy work games music parodies. And punter full trivia, find us every week on the NPR one app and wherever you listen to podcasts. This is on point. I'm NPR media. Correspondent David Folkenflik. And we're having an upsetting. And I think important conversation today this hour, we're discussing R Kelly and the decades of sexual abuse claims against him. You can join our conversation did the recent documentary on lifetime cause you to rethink your support of our Kelly. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at on point radio. My guest today, our dream Hampton, executive producer of the new lifetime documentary surviving are Kelly Renee Graham, associate editor and columnist for the Boston Globe and Bill Wyman music and arts journalist who's written about R Kelly in the coverage of him by the press as recently as this week. I want to start the segment with just reminder of the human element one of the incredible things about documentary was bringing these accusers. The these women who say they've been mistreated by our Kelly to life as individuals as people Joycelyn savage was nineteen years old when she began relationship with our Kelly her parents claim their daughter has been brainwashed by the singer and is being held. Captive her father, Tim savage, told ours podcast edge of fame last year? They've only had a handful of short phone conversations with their daughter and occasionally the phone rings. It's our Kelly himself, and he won't put their daughter on the phone. We don't have no proof of life. And when you understand you have no proof of life desk, dislike bearing somebody into ground. I talked to Mr Kelly on March the first twenty eighteen you know, and he told me that trust the process to see my daughter. How can you tell a father that haven't seen his daughter in over two years to trust the process? You tell me trust the process, the see my own baby girl, we're getting a lot of response from listeners about this. And I want to take a call now from Cleveland, Ohio. Jeff, what do you make of of how long are Kelly has been has been just going on? Despite all of these accusations. Well, I think this is an unfortunate circumstance of lack of information lack of awareness and to some degree function of class. I I listen to NPR for the last thirty years. I never remember hearing anything about our Kelly. I mean, my ya is classical music, and I didn't know who are Kelly is until I saw the lifetime special. And I also get a New York Times news feed. Now, why why didn't I hear about our Kelly before the Curtis courageous group of women put on this documentary? That's part one part two. So that's the information and the awareness. You know, you can't you can't force people to be aware. Even though you give them the information and. I think that was another failure from the late nineteen nineties until just recently. And so I I also fault the jury 'cause I don't think they had all the information. I don't think they were aware and I fault the the record label. You can't tell me that they didn't have more awareness. I mean, he was to the cash. Cow Jeb don's is though it sounds a little bit like the murder on the Orient Express. You feel like there's a lot of guilt to assign to a lot of different players here. Right and okay. So let's let's throw this to Bill Wyman because Bill this is in your wheelhouse. You've written this week about this very question about the information that Jeff raised in that that important point that he made there the information being gotten out by journalists. And in fact, you assign in some ways as did the caller some responsibility, the New York Times and a journalist who for awhile was its chief music critic, a Khalifa sunny, if I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly, but you say that there was this almost willful minimization or or somehow sidelining of r Kelly's behavior in writing about him as as a player in the musical scene. Yeah. And I think it's really fair actually two point this particular finger because the New York Times is the New York Times even more than today. The New York Times is a cultural arbiter it particularly in the arts and music, and of course, the movie world that what the times covered what it didn't cover was a signal to everyone else. And I wrote about this at the. Time in outraged me, then and still does now how systematically and again, I I wanna make it clear. I'm not jumping up and down about this. I'm not saying this gleefully. I'm just saying factually story after story talked about what had genius. He was how how repressive will. He was how he was this bad boy in a freak. And it kinda say, oh, and there was this thing about a videotape. But let's talk about how he's overcome that. He's more respected than he ever has been. He's triumphed over all these scandals on the scandal was almost as though the scandal were a physical impediment or a disease or or some sort of personal tragedy as opposed to something that was as a result at least allegedly of his own behavior of his own actions. Exactly. And it was all part of the celebrity narrative, the celebrity come confronts the challenge and overcomes, and this was before he even went on trial. Okay. And it was you could almost make an intellectual argument for it after he was acquitted. But certainly before it really created this PR. Our world in which he could continue. It was. Well, first of all, the caller was from Cleveland, and there they had the Cleveland orchestra's concert master, William pursell, you know, it was accused of like sexual harassment to sexually harassing students. Right. And in does it exists in this little corner of people who care about classical music as he said he does. And in that way, we have seen this segregated what Rene talked about earlier his fan base is black. He had one breakthrough song I believe I can fly. And there was this way that people who did write about him these places like the New York Times don't always employ music journalists and critics who have any stake in the community in the black community. So it's just another story that they cover. They're not deeply invested in what happens to this community or even what's being said in this community. And I'm not saying that what was being said in this community was to throw our Kelly away in barbershops across America. For instance, when that abuse tape circulated. It went viral on the streets. People weren't always condemning him. I think Chapelle is a mixed bag. But then you had Aaron mcgruder who was a little more clear in his condemnation in his satirical combination. But the the the author of the boondocks exactly who did a really great, you know, episode on that. But I just wanted to throw in that this this architect of his PR was a publicist who was with him forever. Regina daniels. Who defended him who came up with all, you know, he this strategy that Bill is talking about that put forth is idea of him is triumphant you know, black man, who's, you know, shaking off all of these ill found charges. She then had her own daughter who are Kelly had known as a child, you know, he's slept with her daughter at eighteen and they finally had a falling out. His predation really knows no limits, and it wasn't until it happened to her own child which sadly is the myopic way. So many of us live. Our lives that is not until it directly affects us. Whether you're talking about you're living in your corner with your classical music. You are a fan whose daughter hasn't yet. You know, come across our Kelly or he hasn't come across her. But yeah, Regina Daniels. It's public, you know, she was his publicist and her daughter her stepdaughter. She enjoys Daniels had known are Kelly's since she was in middle school, and the moment she turned eighteen because at some point he did start to, you know, have some sense about like not one to settle all these lawsuits and started praying on eighteen and nineteen year olds as soon as you turn eighteen he began sleeping with her. If I if I can just inject something really quickly issue, of course grim. I think it was really interesting when when when dream was talking about how a lot of people don't we act with until directly affects them, and I think that's been the impact of surviving or Kelly. It literally took these stories and these women and put them in our homes, we couldn't ignore it in the same way that. We could if we didn't read that newspaper or see that piece online here it was sort of night after night hour after hour, and that's why we're talking about that in a way, it's tragic because nothing is different in a way now that it was a year ago. But we're talking about this because we had to we watched it, and it caught fire, and it made people talk about this situation that they'd normalized so long ago, you know, there was a story in the Atlanta Journal constitution in two thousand sixteen talking about an art Kelly upcoming album and his Christmas tour and even asked him as holiday songs and the allegations where we we do to align that said Kelly has also endured his share of scandal that was it that was long as said, so that's incredibly typical to of coverage that normalization, and what's the vibe in? Our Kelly has done has forced us to drop that and deal with these issues directly. You know, it reminds me a little bit of the coverage of Ray rice said the still of the picture of him dragging by. A hair his then fiancee out of the elevator New Jersey casino after knocking her unconscious the leak. Says you're suspended two games. When videotape is leaked to TMZ of him, actually, cold-cocking her and knocking her unconscious in that thing. And it's you can see the video of it. Suddenly the league moved swiftly and bans him for life that a power video amplifying greatly the kind of reporting done by Jim dere. Oh goddess and his colleagues at the sometimes and BuzzFeed tremendous reporting, but this really brings it all together. I think it's important to acknowledge R Kelly denies this in two thousand seventeen in response to a movement of times up saying that people like him should no longer be allowed to be stars. Given the accusations statement is people said R Kelly supports the pro-women goals of times up movement. We understand criticizing famous artist is a good way to draw tension. Those goals in this case, it is unjust an off target. We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extrordinary contributions to our culture, we have a call here from Baltimore, Maryland, Carl tell us your thoughts about a about our. Kelly and about these accusations. Good day to every could they'd everyone. I just think that more time these these spent on removing the myopic view of the fan base. And and I guess I should lead with I'm I'm a black male African American male. I've seen this for years. I've seen the Arcelli. You know, just I've seen it escalate over the years, and it it went from him being the army boogeyman to as soon as some fans need him. All of that stuff goes out a window, and he's not kidnapping anybody. People are being basically brought to him, and they already know what the Bill is with them. Our fan base is what fuels this guy if you take away the fan base. I think it was said earlier that there aren't a whole lot of people that aren't black females that are really pushing him. So how do we get to them to show them? Look, this is real this is made up. Nobody's trying to tear are clearly down. Nobody's trying to you know, do a lynching of of of his character or anything. He did these things he's doing these things. How do we drive that point home? Thank you for that Karl let's throw that. What do you say Rene Graham? How do you drive that home? I don't know. I I'm hoping that this documentaries. People are still talking about that still having an impact will will force people to look at that. I hope people understand that every time they stream his music or download his music or by a concert ticket. They're helping fund what you know dream really eloquently called this ecosystem of predation. And so I'm hopeful that this will be that moment. I've thought that before I thought that when he married Leah. I thought that when when Jim Dewar Gaza story came out about, you know, the the quote unquote, sex cult in two thousand seventeen I always think that's the moment. Maybe it comes now. Because as I said these women and their harrowing stories were in our homes, and I and maybe that maybe that makes us each we'll see their efforts to to try to do just that the summer of two thousand seventeen. There was a hashtag movement. Mute are Kelly which began co founder. Her or a Nikkei Odelay explains in the documentary. They had very simple intentions the goals of Megyn Kelly in the beginning. We're very humble it was let's get him off Atlanta radio. And let's get this concerts cancelled. I thought that that would be a really kind of simple ask with the twenty five years of receipts that we have against this person. I'm a net was met with resounding silence. You know, the radio stations would not respond would not call me back. And subsequently you've seen some figures. Like, Tom Joyner, say's not gonna play R Kelly anymore, some artists both in the documentary and outside if it had said, you know, I made mistake and collaborating with him in the past or you know, I'm I'm not going to support him in the future. One question. I have dream Hampton is about how much of this played out in public view. That is you know, our Kelly didn't totally hide his interest in sex. He didn't hide his he was asked frequently about young women and kind of played it off as well. You know, I'm only interested in nineteen year olds. But I wouldn't be interested in younger women, and yet, you know, he married a girl who should have been probably a sophomore in high school at the time. How much of this was really there to be known, regardless of how concrete the accusations were well, the hope that we laid it out in a way that and I think that we did. And thank you for saying that a relentless way six hours that we thought maybe we had two hours, then we knew we had four and then. We realized we had six, and we we stack these stories we knew we had to cooperate. We know that people as Rene said don't believe women. Definitely don't believe black women. They blame them for as the caller said. And I appreciate his call. But I do understand that point of view that these women kind of give themselves and even more nefarious, they believe that their families give themselves to the to R Kelly, but I had a lot of empathy for the parents who believed selectively in the criminal Justice system, and this moment that he was found not guilty. And maybe they were just rumors and they live way down in Florida. And they don't they didn't know every single thing. They didn't know about sparkles testimony. They didn't know that the judge didn't allow other evidence about settled lawsuits to go into the case. The judge wouldn't allow the fact that he'd married a lead to go into the case. And then there's this complicated thing about the truth of our own families in our own lives. My father when he was thirty seven, you know, married a nineteen year old. My grandfather married, you know, down in the south, my grandmother when she was fifteen and he was twenty six so many of us have the Aleve story was one. We just weren't. Sure was this Elvis Presley marrying Priscilla, Jerry Lewis. We found that to be discussing on a number of levels was this a rock and roll story like Jimmy page who continues, you know, well into his old age. It wasn't just the fourteen year old back in the day. So there was this way that we had to create an a- tapestry to show that not only has this been behavior that he has been that this has been his behavior for almost three decades for that. It's escalated, well and one of the most haunting things in your documentary in some ways, the young girl. High schooler went out to cheer him on during his trial trial pornography, ended up being one of the young woman, he cultivated, and according to her that he had sex with underage you've been hearing their voice of dream, Hampton writer, and filmmaker and executive producer of the recent lifetime documentary surviving R Kelly dreams so glad you could join us for this out Rene grams, associate editor and columnist for the Boston Globe. Brennan, my great. Thanks. Thanks so much, David. We've also heard from Bill Wyman music journalist and former arts editor at Salonen NPR Bill. Thanks so much. Thank you, David make sure to continue our conversation online or get the on point podcast or website on point radio dot org are executive producers Karen Shiffman. I'm David Folkenflik. And this is on point.
On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
Aired Last week 65:33
. Part One: R. Kelly: His Life, Times & Vicious Sex Cult
Hey, Matt I have yet to ride one of those birds scooters 'cause I hate those things that does not surprise me at all Joel. But you know, I been getting Instagram adds to give me to become a bird charger to join that gig economy. Oh, that's right. Just like Uber folks are getting targeted to start side hustles to make an extra buck or even to try to make a career out of it. But should you? Do it not all side hustles are created equally. Exactly every week. We dive into practical money topics like this on our podcast. Listen subscribe to our show on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you get your podcast. Just search for how to money. Hello friends. I'm Robert Evanston. This is once again behind the bastards the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in all of history. And today, we have a special guest who we will be talking about a special subject with the guest. Not a bastard is Theresa Theresa. I could be a bastard. Well, I don't know. What is the technical definition like that? No, no, dad. No, mom, runaway dads went away. Then you're vested, right. Jeff you dad's gone yet. Yes. Yes. Okay review. We don't use it for that anymore. Really? I made a mistake of getting a bag cookies right before the started. And I was like I'll just stack, but you can't eat cookies on a podcast. You can't eat cookies on a podcast. You can't eat air. I was gonna say the truth. Oh, yes. You can. Okay. We'll look at those transitions. Great today. We're talking about someone who we will be catching some fire on Twitter for talking about what do, you know about our Kelly? Well, I I don't know. I know I think I know enough like, I know what was big news. But I never decided to like open up the book and deep dive into our Kelly. So there may be things that are surprising to me. But I will say just before his podcast. I was like let me look at all his songs again just to remind myself. And I forgot that he's saying the space. Samsung. So I believe I can fly. So now, I'm like rethinking plane long my head outside of that. Like were you ever a fan of his music? Do you remember any particular albums that like I never used to buy albums as a kid? So he was sort of in his heyday, his popular songs, I would you know, play and sing along to and dance too. But I I wasn't a big album buyer until pretty much in the last couple years because I wasn't really allowed to as a kid. I would say, yeah. If similar experience with him to wear like is a nineties kid. I heard a lot of R Kelly songs, but I liked I did like a lot. I didn't ever attribute it to him. It was one of those things where it's like I like this new song o R Kelly. But it wasn't like I stand for our Kelly. He was just a big part of like the soundtrack of the late nineties, and autzen particular I like that. I'm a flirt song. I think does he think I'm in love with the Barton was no that was definitely not right to t pain. That's right. Okay. So but. His air. He's around that era. I feel like the T paint songs on the radio R Kelly sounds around the radio. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, he like either fun to grind to that sort of thing definitely fund to grind to. I think he has a couple of songs with grind in the name. So let's hear about the fact that he probably has a sex cult like he's the kind of a child pornographer. Right. Isn't that a thing people like know him for people, but wasn't she also underage? We'll be getting into that. It's actually very tough to answer that question definitively. Like, it's one of those things like where pretty much everyone's like, but legally he actually got off. No, right. Because there's no proof way. This does remind me real quick. Speaking of R Kelly the song, I'm Aflou when I was I was a tech. I was technically, but nothing bad happened. But I was bad. I have to preface that some people don't get uncomfortable. But that's on. I remember I worked out a YMCA camp. I I'm ran I was like kind of talking to in the way seventeen. Do a very innocently doing nothing. But to to a twenty one year old football player has ever and we Stanford. Yeah. We grind to that song fancy as summers. But okay, you grind it kind of introvert to our Kelly because technically I was underage oh seventeen years old. So yeah, I was kind of like o R Kelly. Hey, cool. Get over here and get maybe put yourself in a questionable position. I understand. Right. Seventeen is the age of consent for grind dancing, the seaboard? He was respectful. I feel like it was he was like let's see how your ago, and I will not you know, what I mean. Like, I feel like he was like, it's crazy. It's crazy that that's the bar for being a good guy. I'm not gonna push it with this teenager. Definitely didn't put a stop to it. But he went as far as I was comfortable, and then did not push it further. I gotta tell you Theresa as a man it is so easy to be a good guy. Because it's it's just it's just don't assault people. Like, really if you don't assault people like I've done a lot of shitty things. But as long as I don't assault, people are gaslight them. Like, I feel like I'm sailing. I've gone years without paying taxes, but none of that matters because the bar is just below the floor these days opposite for women. Have you just start a sentence with I want your just automatically a bitch? Like well. I mean men never expressed there. Would you get me a celsius? I want to celsius. Double flip off. Well, we should probably get into the story now. Yeah. Okay. But I'm sure there will be a lot more fun conversations about gender politics. Come. I know that's what the audience really tunes on for. Roberts Sylvester Kelly was born in Chicago on January eighth nineteen sixty seven. His dad was absent from the get go in his mother JoAnne raised him and his three siblings. She was a schoolteacher and a committed Baptist writing later in his autobiography Sola coaster Kelly. Rick sorry, there's a little. Yeah. Is is his auto vilo Sola coaster a roller you exact Rolex and serve salt. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. We will be hearing that title regularly, and it will never not make me die just a little bit inside just a little bit. But the thing that I hate to admit I kind of like the layout of the book. Is it looked like a rollercoaster? No, no, no. It doesn't. It's just like, it's just neat. I've never seen an autobiography like Kelly clean ups and downs. No. It's a lot of visuals. Oh, like, he put a lot of thought into how he laid out his auto biography. And it's one of those things you get this throughout the story. I it sucks when someone like Harvey Weinstein whose like a piece of shit. But like, I can't point anything great. He did like just a piece of shit who was tied to some good movies are Kelly is like a really good artist. Like, he's one of these people. He's in like, the running for the best R and B singer of all time, and he's like he's legitimately talented. So like as you go through like as I'm reading his autobiography with it's ridiculous. Stupid name. I'm like, oh, well, let's go. Got a real good talent for layout. And then I'm like, oh, yeah. And he's molesting children fucking Christ. It's frustrating now. Maybe it's not. I mean, he brought someone else. Probably laid it out. I don't know. I feel like he's he's he's kind of attor. I think he's just too controlling till it someone else lead us auto biography. But we'll get to that too. Anyway, I'm we're parallel coaster solar coaster. Yeah. So in his autobiography solar coaster Kelly recalled it on the rare occasions he asked his mom what had happened to his dad. This was her response. Don't say nothing to me about that. No good son of a bitch because the minute he found out I was pregnant with you his cowardice left disappeared in the wind didn't want to have anything to do with either you or me Kelly goes on to write. I remember my mother's eyes on one of those days close to blood red as the anger grew and grew or she talked about my father as if he was the devil himself. I remember my is getting baby blood red too. Because what my mother loved I loved and what she hated. I hated baby blood ran. I don't know. No collar baby blue as a color, baby. Boy. I mean, maybe if you a lot of ABC. Yeah, he's got babies on the mind. I mean, I imagine if baby's blood would be a different color because baby has not been subjected to all the same adultery. They're not eating solid foods yet. Exactly. Okay. So maybe if you've seen a lot of baby blood sticks. This is part of why I think he wrote it to know ghostwriters going to be like baby blood red. That's sounds like it came out r Kelly's head. It was that day that moment that I decided to hate my father, not knowing really what hate meant or having a clear understanding of love. She told me on that day never to mention him. Again. I'm your mother and your father. She said I promised that. I'd never talk about him again. And I never did different is clearly. Repress any of that? Yeah. Well, that's that's that's his background. Robert Kelly grew up very poor. As family lived in the projects on the south side of Chicago, which according to the song, bad bad. Leroy Brown is the baddest part of town in his autobiography Kelly vaguely refers to his childhood home is being filled with numerous older women, and it's unclear how many of them were related and how many of them are just around. But it seems weird. It seems weird in Kelly's telling of it. When my mother wasn't around the women ran a little freer as I crept up in age found myself more curious and sometimes aroused, and I was shamed of being aroused. He says he was eight when he first saw people having sex in the story. He tells is kind of baffling he comes upon this couple getting it on and they see him and basically give him the okay to watch like look at him and on one occasion, I think later than this. He was handed a camera and asked by a couple having sex to take their pictures while they were having sex. He recalls that the photographic technology. Impressed me more than the sex. Maybe he's like, we're press some of them. Let's add this makes me sad. I know. I mean, it's it's one of those things you got to start with like, why do people do like that's another thing with like Weinstein. I don't know enough about is like childhood to know. Like was he abused a bunch of kids that have an impact on it not that that mitigates bad behavior because most people who are abused people who write that people go both ways. But this makes you understand what comes next a lot better this kid. He's never going to have an easy time coming up. He had his barometer. What's appropriate? And what's normal is is off right from the get-go. Yeah. Age eight seems to have been a crowded our for young Robert Kelly. It's the year when he I watched people fuck I photographed people fucking, and it's also the year in which the love of his life died. Yeah. Here is a quote from his auto biography solar coaster. Okay. I love love. There's no one on earth more romantic than me I've been in love with love ever since. I can remember I've always loved the idea of having a girlfriend. I love the closeness the sweetness holding her hand kissing her. Cheek whispering words of affection. Hearing her say that she feels the same about me, my first girlfriend was named Lulu. And she was so special though, we were only eight and it was puppy love. I believe she was my first musical inspiration. When it comes to love songs. So according to our Kelly Lulu died brutally that same year when he was eight at eight. Yeah, they were out playing near the river, and she fell in and bashed her skull open on some rocks. Roberts watched her die and was as traumatized as you'd expect. That's about the most traumatizing gagging. Imagine happening to an eight year old. Yeah. Yet doesn't get much worse than that. There's like little foot seeing his mom die and having your eight year old girlfriend, Bashar sculling on some rocks. They're right up there. So this trauma was compounded. Several months later when Robert Kelly fell asleep in front of the TV and woke up from a quote crazy dream about three's company to find one of his older female relatives fondling him. Yeah. He's never given a name for this woman. But she appears to be someone who is still around in his life. He is not told his other family members who this was and win Chris heath a writer for G Q interviewed him about this later. He said, quote, I remember it feeling weird. I remember feeling ashamed. I remember closing my eyes and keeping my hands over my eyes. I remember those things, but I couldn't judge it one way or the other fully. So Kelly says this mystery relative continued to molest him until he was roughly fifteen years old. She was not the only adult to go after child Robert, a trusted male friend of the family wants us Kelly to masturbate in front of him. He offered to pay our Kelly later said it was a crazy weird experience. But not. Oh blown experience because it didn't go down contact sexual no a- visual. Absolutely. A visual from him showing me his penis. And all that stuff, which is whether or not there's contact. That's negotiating that's the thing that survivors do like, yuck. Oh, sheeting or maybe are thinking, oh, there's experiences invalid because because people quote unquote worse he didn't touch me. So it wasn't like I should be that like these feelings maybe are invalid. But they're all valid because as long as you cross the line. It's militated nestled if you're a child adult comes up to you ask you to masturbate and pulls out his genitals. That's a sexual assault. Yeah. Hundred percent of their power. So he's got a rough upbringing. And this is not all of it. Robert Kelly was probably shot when he was thirteen. It's hard to know for sure what happened because he's not exactly a totally reliable narrator here for years. He told interviewers he had been shot by thugs who wanted to steal his huffy in his autobiography he claims the bullet was his just a stray round from some gun. Fight drive-by though. One of his close associates. Your parents told the Chicago sun times that Robert shot himself during a botched suicide attempt. This person says Kelly's version of the story is ally invented to cover up the suicide attempt. Most reports say he has a bullet in his shoulder though. And if that's true, it does kind of make me think it was probably more likely a stray round than suicide, but I don't really know. Shoulder. You definitely a suicide unless you want to and even if you missed it probably wouldn't be a liar. Hartley blow your job he was like all do here where it doesn't hurt you because little Wayne shot himself in the back or something like that. Yeah. There was just a gun in a couch, and he was playing on accident. Yeah. Yeah. It was an accident with him. I think so hard to say, but it looks like he probably got shot to when he was thirteen either. A suicide attempt to just a stray bullet because he lived in a rough part of town, whatever the truth hits really clear that Robert Kelly had a very very rough childhood not an upbringing I would risk on anybody. But it was not all an R rated version of a dickens novel. He had a teacher, Linda MacLennan who recognized his nascent musical talent early on and nurtured it she convinced him to sing Stevie wonder's ribbon in the sky for a high school talent show Kelly's first performance in front of an audience. He said about it later, quote that night it was like being Spiderman being bit. I discovered this power. I knew I had something then miss MacLean got Kelly on TV for the first time singing at a Christmas tree lighting. Ceremony in Chicago. Now, Robert had no Ma head for math or reading, and it actually sounds from what he says like he might be dyslexic. It sounds like MacLean was instrumental in convincing his mom and him that an essence he should throw all of his effort into singing into performing. Because that's the thing. He was clearly best at and that was definitely the right decision. Kelly started busking on a subway as a teenager on one particularly good day he made four hundred dollars. So he gets into performing and realizes like this is something he's got a crazy talent for so as a young adult he began booking more formal gigs. And it was during one set at a backyard barbecue at age twenty four that are Kelly was first discovered by the industry, Wayne Williams who worked for jive records just happened to be at that barbecue, quote, I was inside the house and Robert was performing outside. I saw this guy who had all the steps down real choreographed. You could tell he put a lot into it. Which is something you don't usually see especially at a backyard barbecue, it was the eye of the tiger. I'm not sure if he means that are Kelly was singing the eye of the tiger. Or if he was responding more. Generally to like, it was kung FU. Games rising up to the challenge of his rival. Kelly began working with berry hanker Sohn an agent with real standing in the music industry. Hankinson got him signed with the band public announcement Teresa, I'm gonna show you a picture of the band public announcement. And I just want you to tell me what, you know about their music based on this picture. That's a it looked kind of almost like a like a boy bands stance. You know, there's a woman in the middle. There's a woman in the middle. So it's a little off from that. But otherwise all the guys look like boy band. I imagine there's some dancing involves in very nineties Harris like tear touching slicking back kind of like Nadi not at the camera, and pointing that sort of thing in our Kelly is wearing what looks like the ninety s windbreaker ever been purchased limb. Breakers, those were windbreakers. Yeah. He was on the cutting edge of that windbreaker trend. Anyway, they dropped an album, and it did pretty well. But Kelly almost immediately outgrew public announcement. He released breaker and the windbreaker mean, we all kind of outgrew the windbreaker. He released his first solo album twelve play in nineteen Ninety-three wondering what the name twelve play means. Yeah. Definitely isn't alluding to his his child. Oh, jeez. That's even Dr that's really dark. I don't know. What does that mean? I thought I I mean, it's still messed up according to the Chicago Sun-Times, quote, it's because Kelly quote claims that while other lovers might give you four play. He gives you three times more. Just like, okay. All right. So I mean, you got to give it to him. He put math in math. There you go for especially for his first album. You know, you gotta conquer your fears. He has math and words mixed up these tracks on the album, twelve play include such subtle titles as bump and grind. Sex me in this is my favorite. I like the crotch on you what I like alleged you. All right. You gotta you gotta love. How just like? Okay. You really not hiding anything there, buddy. Like I like the crotch on clutches. Not a sexy word like it's not it almost like I feel like crotch just sound. I don't know. It sounds like it's like like it's not I don't relate it to sex. Even know it's pointing to the journals. I relate it to like, I don't know what I really just g I would think of jeans because of caused by dirty jeans, and like someone who didn't do their laundry. That's what I think of what I think crotch. No couple in the throes of passion have ever said bring that crotch on. That would not. It's just not an attractive word. Yeah. It's like something. A Taylor tells you by the crotch jeans or something. Yeah. You're right. Okay. So ridiculous. Is it sounded twelve play became the number one are NB album in America for nine straight weeks, you success and apparently a great Aren be album solo album. Yeah. This is a solo album. I don't know much about our B. But the one thing pretty much everybody seems in agreement on is that at his stride R Kelly was a hell of an R and B singer. So his career exploded after twelve play came out he owed much of his accent to his agent, of course, berry Hankinson, and it just so happens that Mr. hanker Sohn had a niece a fifteen year old girl named Leah Dana Haughton, she had musical ambitions about load of talent. And she's Leah. Yup. Yeah. This is that a Olea she soon started working with her uncle's top musician, the incredibly talented, Robert Kelly. He wrote a number of songs for her and acted as a producer on her first album age ain't nothing, but a number Kelly. Kelly wrote that title to. Yeah, I'm not surprised in interviews at the time a lien talked about the many many long hours. She in our Kelly put together to make the album, they're perfectionists and this led to numerous late night spent in close proximity. The was a hit selling more than three million copies in this courting to some people who know shit about our in beep, it was revolutionary in a number of ways in that John Ryan, I can't comment on that. But that seems to be the consensus. However good the album was it also lead to something even less savory or I guess exactly as unsavory as that title would suggest almost immediately after the album dropped Robert Nelia were married at that most stereotypically romantic of destinations the Sheraton gateway suites in Rosemead got married yet assure did she was fifteen. He was twenty seven. Oh my God. Yeah. That's not. Okay. That's not okay. Only. We're be improved to be like I'm fine with someone dropping a song called. I liked the crotch on you, you know, that your own thing here. We've got some not okay married for a long time. No, okay. Because I do not remember this. How was this not the thing that made him because he wasn't big enough? He was big news. This was there was like a controversy over this that extends to today because again, Leo was fifteen in. That's you can't be a twenty seven year old marrying a fifteen year old. It's not legal. So sometimes in a lot of states you can actually marry at that age, but your family has to consent and Elise family had no idea any of this was happening. In fact, the wedding was a secret the world only found out about it because several months after the fact vibe published the marriage certificate, which listed Leah is eighteen so fraudulent marriage certificate now. Big problems. Now, the whole episode is somewhat murky and unclear and there are a number of different narratives as to what precisely went down g cues account of things is based heavily on the memory of Dimitri. Smith a somewhat shady character who worked for Kelly at the time. He said this quote the week of the marriage Smith recounts being in Miami on tour with Kelly and how Kelly explained that he had received a distraught. Phone call from a lien saying she had run away from home believing. She was pregnant Smith says that Kelly was then given some species advice that he could protect himself from the legal ramifications of the situation by marrying her Smith's account of what happened next during a break in the tour Smith and Kelly flew together, Illinois Smith procured a fake state ID for a leeann from a friend in the public aid office, and they got a backup ID through someone. They knew at Federal Express that night after the ceremony in a suite at the Sheraton hotel Kelly and Smith flew back to Miami to resume the tour. So is it. I mean there are trying to like do the paperwork by getting married to make it legal. But then they use fraudulent ID's. It's the whole thing isn't legal. So what's the point of that? I mean, a couple of things number one keeping your head this before the internet. So the odds that someone would find this we're lower, but. Marriage is null if it was built on. Yeah. So that'd make no sense. At all the whole thing is no there were hoping nobody would notice he got when did she come out with are you that somebody 'cause there's tons of random baby noises there that I'm like what the fuck is this, and I kind of just part of it. But now, I'm like was it as a secret message like what she like on pregnant. It might have been I think that was after older because if that wasn't from her she she lived until like twenty four so that wasn't her first album. That's not on age ain't nothing. But a number than with Rome. I think it was the movie Romeo must die. Oh, then. Yeah. That would have been way later. So it is an adult that point. She was sort of trying to slip in the story of it's hard to say what happens child just one guy's relation. She didn't have the baby right? I don't think. So. No, no. She did not. And we don't know if she was actually pregnant again, this is like one person's version of the story, and I don't know this guy's reliable. Yeah. And we we don't really know one hundred percent what went down because there were a lia's parents found out and made them, you know, they annulled the marriage and everything and there was like a big legal settlement where he reportedly paid like one hundred dollars is like token thing. And then like they both agreed not to say anything about this. And like, no one said anything about it in the year since so we don't know what went down. But what I do know. No is that there are some fine products and or services that Theresa you're just gonna love to hear about. Ooh, I love the ad reads. Yes. Ed's. Hello. My name is Kevin Pollack. Yes. The award winning funny fellow from that film. And or TV thing that makes you smile every darn time. You see it, folks. Did you know, I've got a new comedy podcast that was created with you and mine 'cause I do it's called alchemy this, and it was designed with a single purpose, you laughing a lot I'm talking please. Let someone else drive when listening if you enjoy laughing uncontrollably while running errands exercising or building a crispy cream doughnut machine and your basement from parts you stole while working there as an assistant manager, oh, buddy. Boy, I've got the comedy podcast for you each episode. I'm the puppet master who sets the scene, and then five genius improvisers, and I will make you laugh and feel better alchemy. This the new funny podcasts from me. Kevin pollick? Listen and subscribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. We're back. We're talking about a lien in our Kelly's very short lived in super legal mannerly. She was sort lived. Well, yeah. Yeah. She died in a plane crash. She was like twenty. So anyway, the settlement between Elliott in our Kelly. We don't again, I know exactly what went down. But it's a supposedly included a promise from Leah not to sue R Kelly in the future due to quote emotional distress caused by any aspect of her business or personal relationship with Robert she also agreed not to sue for quote, physical injury or emotional pain and suffering arising from any assault or battery perpetrated by Robert against a person. Again. We don't know what went down. We don't know. What all was getting bandied about he he is like is preemies too. But like he ready new. It's like he was like, okay. This kinda shit will come out later. So I'm just gonna totally. For my basis. Well, it's it's it's not even like preemies to me too is just people finally getting angry about this this whole thing. We're like rich people's as Jack NDA's, we're more like, oh, I feel like it came from a lot of the men who make people's I or silence women a lot of it in the past came from like, oh, I don't want it to hurt my reputation. But the fact that he was already like I know that you're gonna go through emotional trauma that might not surface until ten years from now. And then you might wanna talk about it. He's like hold up. You don't know you're going to have this. But I know because I've been through it. So don't talk about it. Oh shit. Okay. Now, that's a really went through it. And that's why he knows that there's going to. I don't think a lot of men in the past were like you're going to have emotional trauma. I think they're just like I don't wanna get caught. I didn't even catch that. But I think you're right. Yeah. That's really insightful. It's kind of Dr. I mean, it's it's sad. Because it's like he's a victim or survivor himself. But also, you know, there's cycle, and he's perpetuating it. Yeah. I think you're I think you're. Really onto something there. So neither are Kelly. Nora Leah have ever provided more detail about what went down or the reasoning behind that weird settlement in nineteen Ninety-seven Elliott filed to expunge the marriage certificate from the county court records, the most detail she ever gave an interview was with the Chicago Sun-Times nineteen Ninety-four where she said, hey, don't believe all that mess. We're close in people took it the wrong way. But that was again like right when it happened. A Leah died in a plane crash in two thousand and one at the age of twenty four R Kelly has said almost nothing about her in the two decades since her death. He doesn't even mention her name once in his auto biography Sola coaster. There is however a disclaimer at the beginning that notes certain episodes could not be included for complicated reasons, that's probably a reference to the court settlement during that two thousand sixteen interview with G Q Kelly described Elliott as his best best best friend, which seems odd for someone. He left out of his auto biography. But again, probably was legally restricted from doing so in nineteen ninety-five R Kelly release. His second solo album, just titled R Kelly three songs on the album reached number one on the RN. Be charts. Song titles include down low. Nobody has to know. Llama knows on December twenty fourth nineteen Ninety-six R Kelly was sued for ten million dollars by Tiffany Hawkins high school student with ambitions for a music career. She claims she met Kelly when he talked to her choir class, her teacher, miss mcclen left. Having Kelly come over to talk to her new students. Kelly seemed to have love flirting with the literal children in these classes, I'm going to quote, Jim deroga-, the indispensable reporter on the R Kelly allegations here, I'm going to probably butcher. This guy's last name. What do you? How do you think that Duero Gaddis deroga-, maybe two Ragas deroga- rogue Atta Stephen D row Gaddis? That's what we're going to land on probably should've checked that. When I was reading about our Kelly for eleven hours, quote asked about the charges in the Hawkins lawsuit that Kelly had sexual relationships with some of the freshman and sophomore girls from lens choir. The teacher says I don't know what he did outside of school. But in the school, there was no Hanky panky if they were involved in that the sad thing is it takes to Tango. Oh, no. It's pretty it doesn't take too full person under age. He really not the it. You can't be part of it too. When you're not going to you teach teenagers. You know, they're not real people yet, you know, that you teach them like if you put a puppy in a box, and you're like, well, he didn't get out. Well, that's different. If you have more power. You're a big person. Hawkins claimed her sexual relationship with Kelly started in nineteen ninety one when she was fifteen and he twenty four she says Kelly ended the relationship when she turned eighteen Hawkins slit her wrists. Immediately afterwards a suicide attempt that she thankfully survived. Also in nineteen Ninety-six while Kelly was settling the lawsuit over the teenager, he allegedly molested into a suicide attempt. He met an adult lady. Andrea Lea Lea was a choreographer dancer who'd worked on his tour. Andrea and Robert married and eventually had three children. There are a few signs that the marriage was something less than super romantic. The pair were almost never photograph together. People close to Kelly told the Chicago Sun-Times that Andrea was required to knock before entering any room in their house, while her husband was home and in two thousand and three several of Andrea relatives complained to the Chicago Sun-Times they weren't allowed to visit their daughter at the home. She shared with Kelly or talk to her on the phone so consider that whole paragraph. Just TI Nancy metaphor shadowing. His autobiography better Sola coaster. But what? So the solar coaster. Okay, year later or start a little later in nineteen ninety six which was very full year for R Kelly. He ran into legal trouble again when he was arrested for battery and Lafayette, Louisiana after a fight between himself his aunt Arash and three random dudes at the basketball court for a local gym. Now, he gets a pass on this one from me because why would you go to a gym basketball court? If you didn't wanna get into a fistfight with somebody in their Underash true. What happens on a court stays on? Now. That's probably not true. No it is. If there's one thing gym basketball courts, therefore, it's fistfights with famous people. And that's cred. That's a sacred thing is as long as you. I mean to certain degree you don't want like beat someone's face to pull. But if there's a little bit of fighting on like if it's more like closer to wrestling on on a on any core of sport as long as when the game ends, you're shaking hands patting each other's back and saying good game. Then I think it's a little okay? But I think if that's real aggression. That's carried on past the game. Then you're like, oh that was a real fight. I think it all depends on whether or not someone has an entourage. Because if there's an entourage. There's no option, but to have like a really showy choreographed fistfight, it's like a gang. We don't really have the big old west side story gangs, the way, I don't even know they ever really did do those dancy dancy fights. But now I feel like you've got fight on the court. I imagine if I ever got into a fight with Ashton Kutcher. You would have dancing and singing entourage have to fight my way through I but yeah. Despite all of its ups and mostly downs. Eighteen eighty six ended on a high note for Robert Kelly. The movie Space Jam was released in December of that year, permanently delighting my former boss, Daniel O'Brien and making art a household name. His hit song, I believe I can fly was basically everywhere for like six months. It was the number two song and America I was like eight at the time and a tremendous number of my early memories involve hearing r Kelly's voice over the shitty. Speakers at a blockbuster or piggly-wiggly or what have you? Bad man. Michael, jordan. So well, I don't know much about Michael Jordan as bad, but not a nice guy. No comments until I do the digging on him for the Michael Jordan episode Kelly's mother died in March of nineteen ninety seven. This was a devastating blow to the self-described mama's boy as it would have been for anyone shortly. After this Robert announced on stage with a gospel preacher that he had given himself over to Jesus his autobiography contains numerous religious references. He's been very consistent about the importance of faith to him over the years. Yeah. R Kelly's desire to get right with God. However, did not inspire him to get right with the Justice department in June nineteen Ninety-seven he missed his key ring on the battery case over that basketball court fight he wound up having to settle out of court with men for an undisclosed sum the next month. Settling with people friend disclose sums of money would grow to become our Kelly's number one hobby over the next twenty years in one thousand nine hundred eight he settled his lawsuit with Tiffany Hawkins, the teenager. He. Yeah. G tempted suicide reportedly for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars the settlement came four days after Hawkins delivered a horrifying seven hour deposition. In a way, it was too little too late news of Kelly's escapades with Hawkins began to leak a young woman who'd been prepared to testify about being in the threesome with Hawkins and Kelly. While Hawkins was under age told the Chicago Sun-Times, quote, I'm not trying to down him because I honestly think it has to be a sickness looking at pictures of me and Tiffany when we were freshmen boy, we were ugly little girls compared to what he could have had. So I didn't understand why he did what he did on. That's also like a fad sort of trying to justify and make things feel normal. You like as a survive? I think she's also like trying to explain or, you know. Yeah. Move on without being stuck in the moment. Yeah. I'm not gonna I'm not. Gonna judge her for that. But it is we yeah. That whole article was published in two thousand it includes a lot of really unsettling information, quote, according to Hawkins his lawsuit Kelly had sex with underage girls in his apartments at nine s Wabash one eighty five North Harbour's drive and other locations in Chicago and response to questions from Hawkins is attorneys. Kelly admitted that he employed Hawkins is a background vocalist in periodically gave her small cash gifts and approximately fourteen hundred dollars in checks, but he denied having any sexual contact with the girl. Now Hawkins is friend who was prepared to testify did make it clear that are Kelly did not force himself on her sexually. He treated us. Very well, she said we got anything we asked for, but we weren't going to ask for much a pair of air Jordans or one hundred dollars was a lot of money to us. I still love our Kelly's music. I don't hate him. She added he reminds me of a boyfriend who hurt you that you still love he hurt me by not helping me out and telling me to drop out of school. He told me in Tiffany both. If you wanna be serious about the music, you have to be at the studio and not at school because school isn't going to make you a millionaire. At sixteen. That's like a dream to us to work with our Kelly. So we listened to him. I think it's a sickness. Yeah. I mean that's rough. She's definitely negotiating whether it's on there's no right or wrong from his point of view because it's like how she feels it how she feels. And you know, sometimes to move on you have to eat the narrative in her head. It doesn't mean it's real you know, what I mean? Like it. Clearly, he cost a line from objective point of view. But the number of from her point of view. I don't think we could fall her for wanting to think of him fondly because otherwise just to move on with her life feeling like this bad thing happened, which it did. But it's okay. If she wants to live her life feeling a little bit more normal. And it's also it's a the the bargain, he put these young women and was essentially the way who's making the thing of it is like, okay. Well, he's grooming. Her to this may be creepy. I may not like parts of this. But like other parts are to her good. We'll get we'll get to be a millionaire. If she felt like she consented are maybe he didn't ever. Maybe he didn't have a quote unquote force himself, but just by nature him being an adult and then being kids and. Him treating them that way already sheet is like we're moving them to feel like they owe him. And I would argue that even if they'd both been eighteen the money here would have been an element of force not that he was offering them. But because yeah, it's coercion of like if I put up with us for a while. Then I'll have a career in the music industry, and I'll never have to worry, you know, abusing his power. Yeah. Yeah. In a couple of ways like his power as like an older man whose wiser in the world and these fifteen year olds and his power as a gatekeeper to celebrity, but there's also like there's so much new. I mean bottom line, it's wrong. You know, he crossed the line bottom line. I want to preface that. But I also want to the nuance of like someone he was a survivor as a kid and part of him. Maybe that like the part that you know, he never dealt with maybe wanted to rewrite a little bit. So maybe he did treat them really well and didn't force them in a in a way to kind of rewrite like what if? When this happened to me, it was sweet and kind and they didn't force it. So in a way, he may have been trying to rewrite his own past that way, still bottom line wrong. And there should have been more resources in place to help him get through his trauma. So that he knew how to properly deal with it. But there is a world with maybe like, maybe he thought treating them. Well, and then going to sex would kind of be like, oh, there can exist a relationship. That's yeah. Because he's trying to justify what happened to him. Yeah. He's not like most people who do really bad things. I doubt he's going into this mall way. The way he wanted to sort of put some sort of meaning to what happened to him. And and make it feel like it wasn't so bad because in his mind, he was like, well, if I can have relationship with kid that feels even or in his mind, it's even they like this. Then that can mean maybe when I was a kid. It wasn't so bad. Do have like he's trying to revive a little bit. What happened? Yeah. I can see something like that going on as head. I can see that being like a way to sort of deal with like crusher conscience a little bit. Yes. You start to be like this is fucked up and Robert Kelly about himself. Yeah. Yeah. Or his actions in this, particular instance, well, let's read the next paragraph in two thousand one Tracy Samson sued Robert Kelly for bringing her into an indecent sexual relationship when she was just seventeen she claimed she was treated as his personal sex object, and quote, he often tried to control every aspect of my life, including who I would see and where I would go her case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Kelly was sued in successive months in two thousand and two once in. In april. And again in may by two different women one claimed he impregnated her while she was underage and other claimed he'd filmed a sex tape of them without her knowledge or consent. According to the BBC, quote, the recording was allegedly circulated on an arc Kelly sex tape sold by bootleggers under the title are Kelly triple X in both of these cases are Kelly settled out of court for undisclosed sums song track. Should have been called ages. Just an undisclosed sum. That's that's really good. Both of these women found Indy as I found a telling quote, though, from a BuzzFeed article that interviewed a lawyer who's been involved with several of our Kelly settlements, Chicago attorney Susani Loggins declined to say how many settlements she has negotiated with Kelly before lawsuits wherever filed, but she said they were numerous in recently included, one for a seventeen year old aspiring singer from Chicago's west side who has said to been part of Kelly's inner circle. So it seems like for every one of these cases I've read there's many many many others that never proceeded trial because the victim just went to Kelly straight away and they worked out a settlement. So like the people were talking about on. This are probably not the only people who could come forward with allegations. If they hadn't already gotten paid and signed in India with the Weinstein thing literally the month. After those two cases rubber Kelly was charged again this time with filming illegal sex videos. This is the are Kelly case you've all heard about the P tape because the actress in this tape that was circulating underground was allegedly underage. Kelly was charged with twenty one counts of making child pornography. So the backstory of this one is a little bit interesting. So we're gonna hear back for a little bit to November of two thousand when Kelly released the album teepee to number one debut on the billboard albums checked. It featured two number one Rb hits. I wish in fiesta. It also featured songs like the greatest sex and feeling on your booty the album reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times was Jim deroga-. He wrote this about it one minute. He's grabbing his privates and bragging of being like a real freak the next. He's drawing on his gospel roots, and once again paying homage to his due to parted mom on the lush and touching single. I wish prince Marvin Gaye and Al green all showed that in the right circumstances. Sex and prayer can be the same thing. Kelly has yet to combine the two in one song. So he has yet to make the transcendent record. He's been promising throughout his career is Lear shifts from church street corner are still so jarring that they can give you whiplash. So you can tell they're deroga- has hardly came into the Kelly cases a hater. But it was probably this review that would contain the seeds of Robert Kelly's down. Fall or at least probable downfall, one of our Kelly's assistance read the review and sent this letter to deroga-. You're at about R Kelly and compared him to Marvin Gaye, we'll I guess Marvin Gaye had problems too. But I don't think that were like Roberts Roberts problem is young girls. I've known Robert for many years, and I've tried to get him to get help. But he just won't do it. So I'm telling you about it hoping that you or someone at your newspaper will write an article about it, and then Robert will have no choice, but to get help into stop hurting people. He's hurting this is one of his assistants. Yeah. So we will talk about what comes this later. But before we get back to the R Kelly sex tape, you know, what's better than a sex tape that is probably child pornography? This is not a good effort. Boy, we're spiralling anything celsius the only energy drink currently on this table. That's also not involved at all in our Kelly sex cry alleged sex crimes. Here's some other ads that paid us. You know, people say necessity is the mother of invention. But that's not always true. Sometimes the mother of invention is advertising. Yeah. Or pure accident. How about ego maniacal delusion? Absolutely. Or just a desperate longing. To be cool. I'm Robert lamp, and I'm Joe McCormick. We're the host of the science podcasts stuff to blow your mind. And now we're branching off into the exploration of invention. Invention is the story of human history told one piece of technology at a time the things we made and how they made us invention publishes every Monday, listen and subscribe to invention on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you find your podcasts. We're back in. We've just been slammed into our first free real ad of the day for diet mountain dew, the only caffeinated beverage currently in my hand because I didn't wanna make another coffee. Why are you holding a skateboard 'cause Ranco, oh, what do the do the sound of a half pipe? You're going to say do this out of a hang loose. Now. There's no sound that you just got to put it in your voice. I can hear it when you do the hand gestures. Yeah. You're hanging loose. There's no way to do that sign without sticking your tongue out. It's required. It's the law. Speaking of the law. Let's talk about our Kelly's Twenty-one it's churches of child pornography making when we when we last left off Jim de Ragas at the will be pronouncing differently. Almost every time. I talk about a reporter at the Chicago sun times, I had just gotten an anonymous letter from one of Kelly's assistance being like r Kelly's got a real problem with young people and somebody needs to do something about this. So as a journalist getting a letter like that is a legally prickly thing anytime, you're considering breaking the story that would accuse someone of multiple felonies you've got to be on guard a letter like that on its own is not super journalistically actionable running. The letter alone would not be the best practice. Right. So nothing happened at first this may have prompted the person in Kelly's orbit to push. Again. A videotape was sent to the Chicago Sun-Times by some anonymous person the tape showed Kelly having sex with an extremely young person because this was super likely to be evidence of a crime. And because if it was evidence of a crime. It would also be child pornography. The Chicago Sun-Times went to the cops the police because how is it? If you even look at it. Yeah. So if you get sent a video like that you have to call the feds yet you have to immediately bring in. Well, I think they go to the local I'm not sure they go to the cops us local cops. So in the not with child porn, so but the police opened up an investigation, but there really wasn't much that they could do because they didn't have like hidden. You don't know the age of the person, you don't know for sure that this is our Kelly. You just have these claims so they kind of wait for a little while. And you know, somehow, you know, right around this time tapes of our Kelly bootleg, sex tapes of our Kelly with young women start floating around. There's multiple tapes they are not all underage people. Kelly apparently has sex taped his sex taped regularly. So somebody in his orbit was leaking. These not just to the press. I have not watched the R Kelly p tape, but this is when the air Kelly p tape that's famous gets out into the world. People watch. 'cause I remember hearing the news, I guess people. So people are watching it. But if you watch it isn't that they weren't all child pornography. Okay. But it wasn't that. I don't know much. I just remember I didn't even know she was underage. I remember there is a p tape and the Dutch. And then there was like a dungeon. Yeah. That's part of the spouse and stuff. Yeah. Okay. So Hoover started sending these anonymous tapes to the Sun-Times eventually got fed up that nothing had happened yet. This person left a video in Jim deroga- has his mailbox. He sent it to the police as well. And they were finally able to make an ID they found a source who claimed to recognize the young woman in the video as her niece. She basically able to name the kid in like Kelly says the first name in the video. So the police were pretty sure that they had the right person. And so the cops give the Chicago Sun-Times, the go ahead to publish their first story on the matter. Terrifying. I mean, I know they're just investigating. They have to do their job. But that's terrifying. Have to like Europe. Sex type is not only getting leaked. But then people are like, do, you know this girl? Unlike like asking your family members will they weren't going straight to Kelly adverse. I know that when they asking she recognized the girl as her niece year, they found that means her Onder ankle watched the sex tape to identify her. They probably saved a like had just a girl's face or something. I doubt they played the whole tape for this lady. But like they heard a first name, and I think they narrowed it down because they had some like it. They feel like they have enough that the police charged him with twenty one counts of child pornography 'cause the aunt of this girl claimed she would have been around fourteen at the time of the filming. So our Kelly who had just performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics was forced to respond personally quote. It's not true. All I know is this I have a few people in the past that I fired people that I thought were my friends, that's not my friends. It's crap. And that's what we're going to treat. It the reason these things are happening. I really do believe is because of the fact that I didn't fall back as far as blackmail was concerned. I didn't give them any money. So our Kelly was indicted for child porn on June fifth two thousand and two. He pled not guilty the neck. Day in posted bail using seven hundred and fifty hundred dollar bills. Once he got back from court. He immediately violated a court order by singing at kindergarten graduation ceremony seven hundred like single dollar bills that way one hundred dollar Bill what he just has just be petty. Like, no why he just had a shitload a couch one hundred dollar bills. Gotcha. That makes sense. Yeah. So at this point, the grinding wheels of the Justice system set into motion jury selection did not begin till June of two thousand eight six years after the charges were filed. This is not normal as an MTV article point at at the time quote in the last six years. Michael Jackson was charged tried and acquitted of molestation Phil spector was charged and tried for murder and due to a mistrial who have to do it. All again, though, Kim was charged tried and convicted of conspiracy, and perjury, and she even found time to shoot a reality show while she served her sentence all that happened. While r Kelly's case was waiting to actually go to trial now delaying this case was very definitely a strategy used by our Kelly's defense. They probably figured that. Since his alleged victim was expected to take the stand. It would be better optics. If she were in her twenties rather than still a teenager when she had to deal are. So first off they wave Kelly's right to a speedy trial, which would have required the case to take place in four months or the chargers would have to be dropped. They also filed thirty some odd pretrial motions all of which demanded a response from the prosecution in usually led to an argument in court this always delayed. Thanks further. There are also some freak happenings that disrupted matters. The judge fell off a ladder and injured himself r Kelly's appendix burst. That's all your died. Fell off a ladder. There's some weirdness around the judge in this case, we'll get to some more of that later during the six years while he waited Robert did not exactly shut up and just sorta hunker down like a month after the charges were filed. He released a single heaven. I need a hug, which was basically his plea of innocent in the court of public opinion. Here's some lines from heaven. I need a hug, and as for Robert here's what I need to do get rid of them clowns and get myself a whole nother crew media do your job. But please just don't make my job so hard somebody. Please pray what I'm talking about. I'm still young trying to figure it all out heaven. I need a hug is there. Anybody out there willing to embrace a thug? So yeah, he needs a hug he's using. I had I mean people get on side powerful tool the question of his guilt or innocence is actually a semi regular theme in our Kelly's music, for example in the album chocolate factory. During a ten minute mini opera. R Kelly finds himself at the gates of heaven Saint Peter denies him for his sins. But then she's absolves him the same scene apparently plays out in the album love land as well. In the middle of a twenty minute remix of I believe I can fly so regular reoccurring theme in Kelly's music his career continued to chug along in the early 'oughts, but even his work wasn't free of drama in October of two thousand four he Jay z released their second collaborative album, which did predictably well, they started touring together and things were not smooth during a performance in Saint Louis on October twenty third Kelly left the show after getting into a screaming argument with the lighting technicians. He actually left the venue drove to a random McDonalds and spend our serving food to customers through the drive through window. What was your son comforts sheds a little light? Now. Kelly's people spun this weird Kelley's attorney Ed Gibson confirmed reports Monday that Kelly headed from Saint Louis Savacentre do a McDonald's restaurant that had closed, but which he persuaded to reopen for the entourage traveling on his bus. Then he decided he wanted to work the drive through Gibson said it was on the radio people were running out of their houses to have our Kelly serve them. Kelly is a big McDonalds fan who has stopped and worked at the drive thru windows. A McDonald's restaurants before in a primetime live interview that aired on October. He talked about frequent visits there with his late mother. We'd go to McDonalds almost every morning. She drinker Cup of coffee. She'd wear this cheap lipstick, and she'd leave this red lipstick around the Cup Kelly said that well first of all to McDonald's for being so big that that's not even a thing. USA as much Donald is just a house just like going to the store. You know, what I mean to be like he started people? It's like if you're a small brand, it'd be an art Kelly was just decided to work for you for a day. Like that would be the biggest thing that happened to you. But yeah, so bakers like you don't even associate that with the brand. I feel that this has to have been a franchisee though, because I feel like McDonald's corporate if some if they'd Nass she we had this guy who's being indicted for child pornography work in our Trifu. I feel like the CEO a lot of go in to eat. Well, yeah. But I feel like Ronald McDonald re. Polly be like, yeah. We don't want that worked out window, right? Right. But I'm gonna guess. Yeah. It was some like local franchise owner who was like we'll FOX business. Mcdonald's in Saint Louis. Yeah. I feel like would you have gone if you were there at that time like knowing what was going on? But like he's found guilty yet like as a normal person. Would you be like I'm gonna go get food from the art Kelly drive through you know, what also this also someone who was born in Saint Louis, and who has been their number of times in my life. If I was going to get handed French fries by a child pornographer, I would expect it to be at a McDonald's and Saint Louis. Yeah. That's like I think looking back. I'm like oh on principle. I wouldn't want anything to do with him. But I'm like if I was there at that time and someone was like dude r Kelly's handing out burgers demonstrate, I'm I'm going to be totally honest. I probably would drive through like, I don't like the right thing to do. And you can like whatever come at me. But I'm being honest. I think I would have gone, so okay. Let me only positives to you. If like Mel Gibson gets no because I don't care about Mel Gibson. I would have to be someone you care. I don't care about. What is the difference? Maybe the public opinion thing did make a difference him singing about him. So because I'm like, you know, what I mean like he seems more human. I mean, he was super popular though, too. I mean already outside all this. So I don't know. I think if it was someone like, okay, William Shatner is a famous person. I'd love who. I'm sure has done horrible things that just haven't heard about he must've shattner, I'm all he has to have look at look into his. But he just looks like a character actor who plays that. I think be sweet we don't know if any member of Hollywood has killed someone for money and Bill Shatner. Okay. I'm saying that right now, I have no evidence of this completely unsubstantiated Herta here for any Ayla star is a hit, man. It's it's Bill Shatner in his younger days when he was a lumberjack just that classic Canadian stereotype of the lumberjack slash handed burgers by like, a serial killer. No. But if. Like Shatner care. And I knew it. I would do it. If arbiters was handing out burgers, people, go people would go. But I don't think I would want to know. I don't want a killer to look me in the eye ever. Because it's like, I don't know how they choose their victims. Like, if they know my face, I might be dead in ten you know, what I mean? Like, I don't know. Maybe one day. They'll be like I remember that face. Oh, just randomly ultras killer. You know what? I mean. I don't know anyway. Sorry for derailing. It's not only from St Louis. What is Nellie from? Oh, anyway, I I I guess other artists from island is if like Bill Shatner was on trial for some terrible crime. And he was on his way to court working at a McDonald's. I would try to get some mcnuggets from from William Shatner, you it. I I think I would so. Yeah. That that's your answer is I can see why people would do this. So quite the digression on October twenty ninth two thousand four a few days after Kelly's night at McDonald's guy R Kelly stopped he performance in Madison Square Garden saying a fan. Had waved a gun at him. He wound up in a fight backstage, which one of Jay Z's people and got pepper sprayed. He went to the hospital. There were shitload of lawsuits in the tour collapsed in on itself. So on July twenty first two thousand five during pretrial proceedings in Kelly's court case. A twenty one year old woman testified that the girl in Kelly sex tape was fourteen when the video had been filmed saying it, quote, it was the summer after eighth grade. The judge did not consider yet. That's bad. Right. Eighth grade sound so much younger than yard teen. Fourteen. Sounds it's still bad. But eighth grade really drives it home. What's going on here? The judge did not consider this enough and threatened to toss out the court case, unless a more -firmative ide- could be made two months after this. Robert's wife Andrea filed for an order of protection against her husband. She claimed that she had asked him for a divorce in he'd hit her she rescinded the order shortly thereafter, but they wound up getting a divorce in two thousand eight anyway, we'll hear from Andrea a little bit at the end of all this back in February of two thousand six while. Everybody was still waiting for the Kelly trial to start Robert Kelly's brother, Kerry or Killa Kelly came out with a DVD filled with allegations against his sibling among other things. Yeah. Killa Kelly claims that are Kelly offered him fifty thousand dollars in cash into record deal to pretend to be the man on the tape. He also alleged that his brother was abusive to his wife and had a problem with underage girl. I none of that seems out of the pale. I will say that the credibility of Killa Kelly's allegations is somewhat put into question, by the way that he chose to drop this bombshell. Number one. Next time. A DVD is not the most credible way to present alligators title page. Find the title I found it was published by drama magazine with an h in the word drummer Hans. It's again, I'm gonna guess he got money for this. The H came before the diesel trauma. Yeah. So maybe it was all a cynical cash grab that said it is consistent with all the other allegations that have been made in wouldn't be the weirdest thing in the world. If R Kelly tried to have his brother take the fall for him now, even under the cloud of legal fucker looming over him Robert Kelly had continued to release albums that continue to be gigantic hits. And this is important to note and part of why Kelly's fans defend him, silver, seriously R Kelly has been the biggest name in our NB throughout most of this in may two thousand seven R Kelly gave an interview to hip hop soul magazine in it he said, I'm the Ali of today. I'm the Marvin Gaye of today on the Bob Marley of today. I'm the Martin Luther King are all the other greats that have come before us and a lot of people are starting to realize that now in February of two thousand eight a couple of months before jury selection began on the trial, Regina Daniels, Kelly's longtime spokeswoman and the person who deficiently denied the allegations of his wrongdoings to the press for like a decade left. His employ with her husband, George Daniels in the interview George explained he crossed the line with my daughter. It did. Get to the extreme of that the sex tape video or else, I wouldn't be here. If you know what I'm talking about the reason I'm that I'm talking about this. It's not just for me. It's not just for my wife. It's not just for my daughter. But it's for other fathers and mothers. Because it doesn't have to be a superstar. It could be the dude on the corner there guys who sit around and give your child a couple bucks to go to school. And then wait until they get a little older. And then they set that trap, grooming. Yeah. Yeah. It was grooming. And this is now again, the husband and his spokeswoman both of them had worked for him coming out and saying this a lot of people in his orbit have come out later with allegations on June fourteenth, two thousand eight R Kelly was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, the prosecution's star witness the woman in the tape never took the stand. Jim deroga-, the Chicago sun times reporter who broke the story took the fifth and did not testify. My think some of it is that he might have had to like admit that he'd seen the tape which would have been legally scary. And he also had some like worries that he he would be required to give up like sources and stuff like. That. So he he he did not testify, which is always a fraught thing for a journalist in a court case, there's a lot of reasons that would be complicated. Four days later judge gone through a post trial party at a bar to celebrate the end of the case he invited the defense. The prosecution court workers and reporters one of those reporters thing. The thing that people do it happened. This time is that typical. I've never heard of this before like, hey, guys, rack hardy people who are everybody trust secure Shen? Let's all get on get down. So bizarre. But one of the reporters who was present says that it was a hoot, and that everyone there was loosened relaxed. So that's nice. Oh, you almost put me in jail. Let's all part part. I don't think R Kelly went I'm gonna guess maybe that was the judge is hoped that he'd get to party with our Kelly again, there's some weirdness what the judge threw it. Yeah. Some weirdness. So our Kelly was not guilty. And if he were truly innocent of all of the allegations against him, this story might have ended there. But this is not the sort of podcast where we talk about wrongly accused people. So in the years since R Kelly was declared, not guilty things have only gotten darker, and a whole lot creepy or all of that will be coming to you the listener on Thursday, and we dropped part two of the working title has been R Kelly. What the hell man? How you doing? Hey, I didn't realize that you were gonna leave me on a cliffhanger that I'm gonna leave you on a cliffhanger or so I'm not going to know that when the air horn should have kicked in. Defense that people say like, oh, great art, blah here. All the time. Great artist. You know, what we're gonna do not not give their art. Yeah. I think it would have helped public opinion if when someone's under trial for child pornography that they're forbidden to put out art because then people can just fine. Appreciate the stuff that came before. But like we don't need to continue liking the guy. We we might it might be true. He's talented. But like while you're on a trial for something bad. You shouldn't be allowed to put out any more of your art. That's a privilege, not a right? Well, I mean when you're in trouble, you're not guilty. Like, you can't stop someone from putting out art when they're innocent until proven good. I think because post people on a position where it's like. Well, it's a good. We should just listen to. Well, why don't we just stop having it that we don't have to be like, it's all good and defending it. I think there's you you have some water when you're trying to get people to be like, hey, this guy's been accused of bunch of heinous crimes. Let's all boycott is music. I think that's fine. But I like the government can't go and be like, you don't get to make music. Yeah, you're right because then isn't guilty that can it can be used against him to silence them, but that's pesky civil rights, man. I don't know Justice. Teresa you wanna plug your plug Ables. Yeah. Sure. I've got a podcast. It's all about secrets you on sometime. I love secrets Johnny secret Mary open book, but it doesn't have to be a scandal. Listrik which is something you've not talked about on stage or whatever ready did podcast about it's called. You can tell me anything comedians confessed, something they haven't told anyone. It's really fun. You can find it on Instagram at tell me anything pod. And I'm on Twitter at LaRussa t. Yeah. Up to be on talk about the time. I firebomb that oil Derrick or something, I'm Robert Evans. This has been behind the bastards. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter at at bastards pod, by shirts, and cups, and cell phone cases, and commercial drilling equipment all at our T public store behind the bastards t public check it out. You can get our branded stuff on your IMAX eighty earth core cracker, which is one of the finest commercial drilling rigs available. I shouldn't be lying about commercial drilling Twitter. Them. We're going to have like thirty people top up on Twitter and be like also, you can get stickers. You'd find me on Twitter at I right? Okay. You'd find the sources for this episode on behind the bastards dot com. We'll be back on Thursday with the story of our Kelly's alleged sex Colt. An until then podcast. Yes. Investigators have been desperate to figure out how that family flew off that cliff in California, and whether it was on purpose early the morning of March twenty six rescue workers repelled down the cliff where they lifted the dead bodies of three children arm to the point where I no longer. I'm calling this an accident. I'm calling it a crime who are these women, and how did they come to adopt six children two sets of three black siblings. You're one of my early role models or what like non traditional fan bringing look like we looked up to her like, wow, she's the best parent in the world. We're horrible. I don't mind how now there's some kids that I feel as being highly abused. She would eating out at the garbage like something's not right about them. But since she's told me about it. I just can't live with it. I'm very concerned for these kids from glamour, and how stuff works this is broken hearts. Listen and subscribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Behind the Bastards
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Everybody Hates R. Kelly
Brandi and Will use the "H" word to describe what a monster R. Kelly is. And what does Brandi have to say about Lisa Vanderpump's comments on "Watch What Happens Live?" Plus, let's move to Canada! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brandi Glanville Unfiltered