Gayle King Held R. Kelly’s Feet to the Fire. But CBS Shouldn’t Have Interviewed His ‘Girlfriends’

R. Kelly didn’t exactly vindicate himself in this week’s much-discussed interview with Gayle King. In a conversation excerpted on CBS This Morning in advance of Friday’s primetime special The Gayle King Interview With R. Kelly, the R&B superstar and alleged serial abuser yelled, cried, leapt to his feet, denied ever having sex with a woman younger than 17 and accused the parents of his current so-called girlfriends of extortion. As Kelly was detained in Chicago for failing to pay $ 161,000 in child support, late-night hosts and social media had a field day with the bizarre footage.

All that ridicule has largely overshadowed King’s additional sit-down with the two women who currently live with Kelly, 21-year-old Azriel Clary and 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage. During that interview, they offered a calmer, more poised defense of the singer that I nonetheless found more chilling than Kelly’s temper tantrum. In a clip that aired Thursday on This Morning, the women more or less invert the rigorously vetted accounts of Kelly’s dozens of accusers, framing their lives with him as an escape from evil parents. They explain that they’re both Kelly’s girlfriends, that they’re in love with the 52-year-old musician and that the three of them function as a “family.” When King asks whether that three-way bond extends into the bedroom, Clary refuses to respond: “I would never share with anyone what I do in or outside of the bedroom,” she snaps. “And as a woman, I’m sure you would not either.” Both women claim that their parents want to extract money from Kelly. Clary maintains that when she was 17, her mom and dad tried “to get me to take photos with him, take sexual videos with him” because “they said if they ever had to blackmail him—what they’re trying to do now—they can use it against him.”

In the video, Savage and Clary seem to have little in common with the meek, battered victims we usually see in fictional depictions of domestic abuse; they come off as confident, healthy and well spoken. Dressed conservatively, Clary in all black and Savage in a red pantsuit, they could work at a law firm. If you hadn’t seen woman after woman speak out about their harrowing experiences with Kelly in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly or otherwise followed the charges leveled at him over the last two decades, from domestic violence to emotional abuse to statutory rape, you could come away from the interview open to the possibility that three adults were being persecuted simply for carrying on an unusual but ultimately consensual relationship.

To their credit, King and CBS have provided context for the story. Following the clip of Clary and Savage’s interview, King said that both women’s parents denied seeking or receiving money from Kelly. She recounted to her This Morning co-hosts how he stood just outside the room throughout her conversation with the women, coughing loudly in an ostensible effort to make his presence felt. CBS cited medical records disputing a claim Clary made, that pressure from her parents to launch a singing career drove her to attempt suicide. On Friday, This Morning aired a wrenching interview in which Savage’s parents tell King their very different side of the story. Though short on previously unseen footage from King’s dialogues, the primetime special did incorporate the voices of Kelly’s accusers, of Surviving R. Kelly executive producer dream hampton and of Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago journalist who has been investigating these allegations since 2000.

To do any less would have constituted journalistic malpractice. But that doesn’t mean that this week’s news cycle has done right by Kelly’s accusers. By airing the conversation King had with Clary and Savage while he was within earshot—and doing so without the insight of psychologists and other experts on abusive relationships that added such crucial context to Surviving R. Kelly—CBS gave weight to their defenses of a man whom many believe brainwashed them into submission. Watching the women plead his case, my mind turned to HBO’s Leaving Neverland and the post-show discussion King’s best friend Oprah moderated with the Michael Jackson accusers it profiled, James Safechuck and Wade Robson. These men, who say the pop icon started abusing them before they hit puberty, not only kept that trauma to themselves for decades but publicly defended Jackson as young adults.

Perhaps Kelly didn’t put words in Savage and Clary’s mouths; maybe they really do feel love for him. As Robson and Safechuck tell it, they grew up thinking of their relationships with a rich, powerful and widely revered musician as love stories, too. “Michael trained me and forced me to tell the lie for so many years, and particularly on the [witness] stand,” Robson told Oprah. “And those were really traumatizing experiences for me that had a huge impact on the rest of my life.” Safechuck admitted to feeling guilty about coming forward even after Jackson’s death. Just before going public with his accusations, he recalled feeling like he’d disappointed the late star.

It’s hard to imagine the highly subjective counter-narrative Kelly, Clary and Savage put forth this week destroying the momentum Surviving R. Kelly and the reams of investigative reporting that preceded it have built up—and I realize that Kelly is pretty much the worst possible advocate for himself at this point. But even as some of us continue to marvel at Kelly’s histrionics, I hope we’ll also come to understand that victims still in thrall to their abuser don’t tend to be reliable narrators.


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Illinois Entrepreneur Revealed As Women Who Paid R. Kelly’s Bail

R&B singer R. Kelly was released from a Chicago jail Monday night, three days after being booked on charges alleging that he sexually abused four women, including three who were underage at the time.

Kelly’s release came hours after his lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf to all 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Reports claimed the hitmaker was embattled with all sorts of financial woes, making him unable to cough up his own bail money. This was further fueled when a close friend stepped up and posted the $ 100,000 to bail to spring the disgraced entertainer out of jail.

Now, details have emerged about this mystery “friend” and the individual happens to be a local entrepreneur.

47-year Valencia Love reportedly is a Chicago native and Kelly supporter who is said to have paid 10 percent of Kelly’s $ 1 million bond, the Daily Mail reported.

“Love owns a number of restaurants according to records obtained by DailyMail.com as well as a childcare facility, the Lord and Child Christian Day Care,” the publication wrote.

Love posted that bail despite Kelly’s reputation as a sexual predator of underage girls.

After bail was posted, the hitmaker may have violated the terms for his conditional release, as a judge ordered him to not have contact with females under 18.

The first stop Kellz made upon his release was Chicago’s “Rock n Roll” McDonald’s; a popular hangout for teens and underage females that is known for its fun décor and blaring music.

It’s the same location where R. Kelly allegedly met a teenager who he impregnated and later arranged to have an abortion.

The 52-year-old Grammy-award winner has denied all allegations of abuse leveled against him and his lawyer believes he will be vindicated.

Kelly was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

Via @SandraRose.com, Love responded to her critics:

PHOTO: AP


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Judge Sets R. Kelly’s Bond at $1 Million

(CHICAGO) — A judge on Saturday gave R. Kelly a chance to go free while the R&B star awaits trial on charges that he sexually abused four people, including three minors, in a case that seemed likely to produce another #MeToo reckoning for a celebrity.

Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. set bond at $ 1 million bond, meaning that the 52-year-old Grammy winner must post $ 100,000 to be released or remain behind bars until he is tried on the allegations that date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.

Kelly turned himself in late Friday and spent a night in jail before being taken to the courthouse. He stood with his hands behind his back and said to the judge, “How are you?”

His attorney, Steve Greenberg, said Kelly is not a flight risk and told the judge, “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly.” One of Kelly’s best-known hits is “I Believe I Can Fly.”

The bond equals $ 250,000 for each of the four people Kelly is charged with abusing, the judge said.

Greenberg said Kelly “really doesn’t have any more money,” suggesting that others had mismanaged his wealth. Still, he said he expected that Kelly would be able to come up with enough money for bail.

Asked later how Greenberg would get paid, he said, “That’s none of your business.”

The judge called the allegations “disturbing.” The singer-songwriter looked down at the floor as the judge spoke.

Kelly’s DNA was found in semen on one of the accuser’s shirts, and semen found on one worn by another was submitted for DNA testing, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.

Kelly met one of the accusers when she was celebrating her 16th birthday party at a restaurant and another when he signed an autograph during his 2008 trial on child-pornography charges, Foxx said.

Prosecutors said they have a video of another accuser that shows R. Kelly having sex with her when she was 14.

A fourth accuser, a hairdresser, told prosecutors that she thought she was going to braid R. Kelly’s hair, but that he instead tried to force her to give him oral sex. The woman, who was 24 at the time, was able to pull away, but Kelly ejaculated on her and spit in her face, Foxx said.

After the hearing, Greenberg told reporters that Kelly did not force anyone to have sex.

“He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex,” Greenberg said.

The judge ordered Kelly to surrender his passport, ending his hopes of doing a tour of Europe in April. Kelly defiantly scheduled concerts in Germany and the Netherlands despite the cloud of legal issues looming over him.

The recording artist, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. He was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has consistently denied any sexual misconduct. He broke into the R&B scene in 1993 with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such popular sex-themed songs as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”

He rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side and has retained a sizable following. Kelly has written numerous hits for himself and other artists, including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.

The jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.

Charging Kelly now for actions that occurred in the same time frame as the allegations from the 2008 trial suggests the accusers are cooperating this time and willing to testify.

Because the alleged victim 10 years ago denied that she was on the video and did not testify, the state’s attorney office had little recourse except to charge the lesser offense under Illinois law, child pornography, which required a lower standard of evidence.

Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison. If Kelly is convicted on all 10 counts, a judge could decide that the sentences run one after the other — making it possible for him to receive up to 70 years behind bars. Probation is also an option under the statute.

Kelly was charged a week after Michael Avenatti, the attorney whose clients have included porn star Stormy Daniels, said he gave prosecutors new video evidence of the singer with an underage girl.

At a news conference Friday, Avenatti said a 14-year-old girl seen with R. Kelly on the video is among four victims mentioned in the indictment. He said the footage shows two separate scenes on two separate days at Kelly’s residence in the late 1990s.

During the video, both the victim and Kelly refer to her age 10 times, he said.

Avenatti said he represents six clients, including two victims, two parents and two people he describes as “knowing R. Kelly and being within his inner circle for the better part of 25 years.”

Legally and professionally, the walls began closing in on Kelly after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last month. Together they detailed allegations he was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”

#MeToo activists and a social media movement using the hashtag #MuteRKelly called on streaming services to drop Kelly’s music and promoters not to book any more concerts. Protesters demonstrated outside Kelly’s Chicago studio.

In the indictment, the prosecution addressed the question of the statute of limitations, saying that even abuse that happened more than two decades ago falls within the charging window allowed under Illinois law. Victims typically have 20 years to report abuse, beginning when they turn 18.


Entertainment – TIME

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R. Kelly’s Daughter Calls Her Father A ‘Monster’ As She Speaks Out In An Emotional Post | PeopleTV

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R. Kelly’s Streaming Numbers Rise After Documentary

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nielsen Music says streaming numbers for R. Kelly have nearly doubled after a recent documentary accused the R&B singer of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls.

The Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” detailed abuse allegations against R. Kelly in six episodes, but the singer’s streaming numbers grew significantly during and after the series. His music streamed 870,316 times on Jan. 2, the day before the series premiere, but Nielsen said Thursday Kelly’s music garnered nearly 1.73 million streams after the sixth episode aired Jan. 6.

Women cheered him on at his recent birthday party in Chicago, where he told the crowd ‘I don’t give a f-ck!’

Kelly averaged more than 955,600 streams in the last week of 2018. He averaged more than 1.5 million streams from Jan. 3-6.

He recently released a new single and still has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram. Kelly, has, though disabled comments on his posts.

The singer has for years faced allegations he sexually abused women, but the 52-year-old hasn’t been charged and he’s denied any wrongdoing.

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R. Kelly’s Music is Thriving and Jada Pinkett Smith Can’t Understand Why

Jada Pinkett Smith is “having a really difficult time understanding why” R. Kelly’s music streams have spiked on Spotify following the release of the gut-wrenching docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which details allegations of his history as an alleged serial sexual predator.

Kelly has faced accusations of child and sexual abuse since the 1990s when it was first reported that he married and slept with singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old. In the new six-part docuseries, people affiliated with the R&B singer testified to witnessing the 51-year-old singer’s abusive behavior over the course of his career. Meanwhile, multiple women of color described the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse that they survived as teens in chilling detail.

Yet, despite the disturbing revelations about Kelly, Spotify revealed that his streams have jumped by 16% since part 1 of the series aired on Jan. 6, reported The Blast. Pinkett Smith responded to the surprising news in a Twitter video.

“I’m having a really difficult time understanding why,” she said of the increase in Kelly’s popularity. “But I think it’s important I understand why.” The “Red Table Talk” host added, “I really don’t want to believe that it’s because Black girls don’t matter enough. Or is that the reason?”


To Pinkett Smith’s point, many fans and people within the music industry continued to express support for Kelly, including rapper Joyner Lucas, who in a series of now-deleted tweets, sympathized with the accused abuser. Other argued that Kelly is a victim of a smear campaign.

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On the other hand, notable celebrities and influencers criticized the singer as well as the fans and people in the music industry for being complicit in his abuse.




Black Enterprise Editor-at-Large Alfred Edmond also weighed in on the troubling allegations.



This comes months after Spotify placed a temporary ban on Kelly’s music back in June under a hate conduct policy. The streaming platform later decided to lift the ban.

The post R. Kelly’s Music is Thriving and Jada Pinkett Smith Can’t Understand Why appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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R. Kelly’s Streams Increase 16% After ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Docuseries Premiere

‘Surviving R. Kelly’ has dominated the social media conversation for two nights in a row — but as they say, all publicity is good publicity.

According to The Blast, a rep for Spotify confirms that R. Kelly’s  streams have increased 16% since Lifetime aired part 1 of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ on Thursday night.

via The Blast:

The bump is interesting, considering the rocky past between R. Kelly and Spotify. Back in May, the global streaming giant announced they were removing R. Kelly’s music from all of its owned and operated playlists as part of an updated policy to stop promoting artists who have been accused of “hateful conduct.”

Spotify later backtracked from the ban after receiving backlash for supporting other artists who had been accused of sexual assault while singling out Kelly.

“Surviving R. Kelly” has gained major attention by showcasing former friends, employees and even family members speaking candidly about R. Kelly sexually abusing not only women, but young girls. Stars like John Legend and Wendy Williams have attached themselves to the project, even appearing on camera to talk about the allegations.

We’re willing to bet the same aunties that still bought tickets to R. Kelly shows in 2018 are the ones still playing his music.

The post R. Kelly’s Streams Increase 16% After ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Docuseries Premiere appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Trump says concrete border wall was ‘never abandoned,’ contradicting Kelly’s comments

Trump said his plan to build an “all concrete wall” was never abandoned.
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Numbers Don’t Lie: ‘Today’ Ratings Improve Since Megyn Kelly’s Firing

Megyn Kelly’s firing from the 9am hour of the ‘Today’ show has been good for ratings.

via Page Six:

Variety reports that since Kelly was canned about three weeks ago, “viewership in the key demographic favored by advertisers in that time period is up around 10 percent.”

The news will perhaps not surprise NBC brass, who saw viewers abandon the time slot in droves after Kelly took over from Tamron Hall and Al Roker in 2017.

Anecdotally, “Today” also saw a spike in viewers after it fired Matt Lauer last November.

Maybe ‘Today’ should fire everyone and hire a slate of fresh, new, and diverse talent.

The post Numbers Don’t Lie: ‘Today’ Ratings Improve Since Megyn Kelly’s Firing appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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NBC ‘Today’ Hosts Condemn Megyn Kelly’s ‘Ignorant, Racist’ Comments

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

If Megyn Kelly thought an apology to staff over her “blackface” comments was going to be adequate, she was proved bitingly wrong on the very show she presents the third hour of on Wednesday morning.

Host Al Roker said: “She owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country,” while news anchor Craig Melvin said Kelly’s comments were “ignorant and racist… stupid and indefensible.”

Kelly didn’t appear in person to answer her colleagues’ criticism, but may speak about the controversy at 9am on her own show.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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