The life of R. Kelly, talent in trouble at the trafficking trial

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NEW YORK (AP) – R. Kelly has long faced and denied allegations of sleazy behavior and sexual abuse. A jury has now found him guilty of sex trafficking in a federal trial in New York City stemming from the allegations.

A timeline of Kelly’s life:

– January 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly was born in Chicago, the third of four children to teacher Joann Kelly. Little is known about his father.

– 1975: Kelly starts singing in church. Around this time, years of sexual abuse by an adult parent begin, according to his 2012 memoir.

– 1979: Kelly witnesses a rape at the age of 12.

– 1983: the mother leaves her family of housing projects in Chicago and enrolls Kelly in the prestigious Kenwood Academy.

– 1984: Performs Stevie Wonder’s hit “Ribbon in the Sky” in a talent show. In the following years, he performed in metro stations with his keyboard, often feigning blindness to avoid being arrested.

– 1990: His R&B group MGM wins the grand prize of $ 100,000 on the show “Big Break”. Wayne Williams, director of Jive Records, discovers Kelly singing at a barbecue.

– January 1992: R. Kelly & Public Announcement launches “Born Into The ’90s”. The album released the following year was platinum.

– November 1993: His album “12 Play” was released and eventually sold over 5 million copies. Hit singles include “Sex Me” and “Bump N ‘Grind”.

– August 31, 1994: Aged 27, R. Kelly married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah D. Haughton in a secret ceremony. The marriage is called off months later due to Aaliyah’s age.

– September 1994: Aaliyah’s first album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number”, produced by Kelly, becomes platinum. Aaliyah died in a plane crash seven years later at the age of 22.

– 1996: Released third album “R. Kelly” and joined Rockland Records. The song “I Believe I Can Fly” was a huge hit. She married dancer Andrea Lee, 22, and they had three children: Joanne, Jaya and Robert Jr.

– February 18, 1997: Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint for sexual violence and harassment when she was a minor.

– January 1998: Hawkins’ lawsuit would be settled for $ 250,000.

– February 1998: Kelly wins three Grammys for “I Believe I Can Fly”.

– November 1998: Album “R.” arrives in stores and eventually sells 6 million copies.

– November 2000: the album “TP-2.com” debuts at number one.

– August 2001: Tracy Sampson sues Kelly, alleging that their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in a position of authority. The case would be settled out of court.

– February 8, 2002: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that it received a videotape showing Kelly having sex with a minor and that the police had started investigating the related allegations three years earlier. The girl and her parents deny the relationship. That same day, Kelly performed at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

– June 5, 2002: Kelly indicted in Chicago on charges of child pornography arising from the sex tape, pleads not guilty and is released on bail.

– January 2003: Kelly is arrested at a Florida hotel on child pornography charges after investigators said they found pictures of him with a girl. The charges are then dropped after a judge ruled that the police did not have a warrant.

– February 18, 2003: Release of the album “Chocolate Factory” with immediate success.

– July 2005: the album “TP.3 Reloaded” reached number 1.

– September 2005: Andrea Kelly asks for a protection order, accusing her husband of hitting her when she filed for divorce.

– February 2006: Carey Kelly says her brother offered her $ 50,000 and a recording deal to say he was the person in the sex video.

– May 29, 2007: The album “Double Up” was released and later reached number 1.

– May 9, 2008: start of the child pornography trial.

– June 13, 2008: Kelly is acquitted after rapid deliberation by the jury.

– January 8, 2009: Kelly and Andrea confirm their divorce.

– July 12, 2011: Crain’s Chicago Business reports that a $ 2.9 million foreclosure has been filed at Kelly’s suburban Chicago mansion. The spokesperson said Kelly was not having financial problems.

– March 21, 2012: Kelly announces that he is relaunching a series of videos, “Trapped in the Closet”, which will ultimately become a rap opera on a web of sexual deception. We’re talking about a Broadway show.

– June 15, 2012: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Kelly owes the IRS more than $ 4.8 million.

– June 27, 2012: publishes his autobiography “Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me”, devoted to his creative and family life.

– March 18, 2013: The mansion, once valued at over $ 5 million, sells for $ 950,000 at auction.

– 2017: BuzzFeed reports parents claim Kelly brainwashed their daughters. Activists launch the #MuteRKelly movement, calling for a boycott of its music.

– February 13, 2018: Kelly is evicted from two Atlanta-area homes for over $ 31,000 in unpaid rent.

– April 2018: the Time’s Up campaign joins #MuteRKelly and pushes for the investigation. Kelly’s camp responds, “We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made an extraordinary contribution to our culture.

– May 2018: Spotify removes R. Kelly’s music from its playlists. Apple and Pandora soon stop promoting its music.

– May 21, 2018: Faith Rodgers, 20, sues R. Kelly, alleging bodily harm, mental and verbal abuse, and knowingly inflicting herpes on her.

– January 3, 2019: Lifetime airs “Surviving R. Kelly”, revisiting old allegations and broadcasting new ones. It follows on from 2018’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes” on BBC.

– January 9, 2019: Lady Gaga says she will be removing the 2013 duet with Kelly from the streaming services.

– January 14, 2019: Rodgers says Kelly threatened to reveal embarrassing details of her sexual history if she did not drop out of the May 2018 trial.

– January 21, 2019: Reports indicate that Kelly and her label, Sony’s RCA Records affiliate, are going their separate ways. Other musicians including Celine Dion take even more distance.

– February 6, 2019: Kelly tweets about a new tour of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, then drops it following a backlash.

– February 14, 2019: Attorney Michael Avenatti says he gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of Kelly with a girl.

– February 22, 2019: Kelly is arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

– February 25, 2019: Kelly pleads not guilty, posts bail and is released from Chicago jail.

– March 2019: In an interview with CBS, Kelly denies accusations of sexual abuse. Authorities in Illinois are taking Kelly into custody after he told a judge he couldn’t pay $ 161,000 in child support.

– May 30, 2019: Kelly is charged with 11 new charges in Chicago involving a woman who accused him of assaulting her when she was underage.

– July 11, 2019: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on federal charges, including child pornography. A separate federal indictment in New York includes racketeering charges. He is arrested again in Chicago.

– July 16, 2019: the judge orders that Kelly be detained without bail.

– August 2, 2019: Kelly pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting women and girls who attended her concerts. His lawyers call them disgruntled groupies.

– August 5, 2019: Kelly is accused in Minnesota of soliciting a 17-year-old.

– October 2, 2019: Kelly is denied bail in her New York case.

– December 5, 2019: Kelly is accused of paying a bribe in exchange for a “fraudulent identification document” a day before her marriage to Aaliyah. He later pleads not guilty.

– March 5, 2020: Kelly pleads not guilty in Chicago to an updated federal indictment that includes a new accuser.

– August 12, 2020: Charges are announced against three men accused of threatening and intimidating women who accused Kelly of abuse.

– August 14, 2020: Kelly’s manager is arrested in California for threatening to shoot in a Manhattan theater two years earlier, forcing the screening of a documentary on the allegations against R. Kelly to be canceled.

– July 24, 2021: Federal prosecutors say Kelly had sexual contact with a boy in addition to girls, and the government wants trial jurors to hear the allegations.

– August 18, 2021: Opening statements begin at Kelly’s federal trial in New York.

– September 24, 2021: The jury begins deliberating in the New York trial, although trial dates in the Illinois and Minnesota cases remain to be determined.

– September 27, 2021: Jury finds R. Kelly guilty of sex trafficking and breaking the Mann Act, which prohibits anyone from crossing state borders “for immoral purposes.”


See the AP’s full coverage of the R. Kelly investigations.

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