R. Kelly has been in the music business since the early 1990s and has enjoyed a career with several chart-topping highs and controversial lows. Focusing on the latter, The Washington Post just published a detailed investigative piece on how the R&B singer has dodged the allegations that dog him in grand fashion today with the help of industry insiders who reportedly knew more than they wanted to admit.
The Post spoke with six women who were connected to Kelly, with two, Tracy Sampson and Patrice Jones, speaking up for the first time The paper also uncovered that record execs, and Kelly’s gaggle of assistants helped orchestrate his alleged seedy lifestyle.
The Post writes:
Six women once connected with Kelly spoke to The Post about what they say were abusive relationships. Two of those women, Tracy Sampson and Patrice Jones, have never publicly spoken about him before.
“He makes you feel like he’s a wounded puppy, like he’s hurt so deeply, that there’s good there — he just can’t get it all out,” said Sampson, who was a 16-year-old Epic Records intern when she says Kelly first approached her in 1999. “Being so much older [now], I see how wrong stuff was and how ultimately gross and pedophile-ish it was, but that’s something you have to have your adult brain process.”
Back in 2002, Sampson didn’t speak, silenced by a familiar, legal tool: A non-disclosure agreement. Kelly continued to settle with more women as allegations against him mounted, but music industry luminaries remained silent, instead smiling for pictures alongside him at platinum record ceremonies. That chilling code of silence remains today, almost 25 years after the singer’s illegal marriage to 15-year-old protege Aaliyah, and only weeks after a Dallas woman accused Kelly of knowingly giving her herpes. (Kelly denies the allegations made by the Dallas woman.) Kelly remains an active recording artist for RCA Records, a division of Sony, and continues to get booked for arena shows that are promoted by local radio stations.
The entire piece is lengthy but details over 20 years of rumors, hushed chatter, and much more. Read it here.