Within days of being indicted for multiple sexual abuse charges, attorney Michael Avenatti claimed he found a second video of R. Kelly with a 14-year-old girl.
Over a decade after his first indictment on child pornography charges, R. Kelly returned to jail Friday, facing 10 new counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
In the 10 years between his arrests, plus several incidents predating his controversial 2008 sex-tape trial, Kelly has been accused by an army of women of physical and sexual abuse, with many of his alleged victims claiming they were underage at the time.
Revisit Kelly’s timeline of legal woes and allegations.
1994: Kelly marries 15-year-old Aaliyah
Kelly, then 27, married the 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah, on Aug. 31, 1994, in Rosemont, Illinois. Kelly obtained a falsified Cook County marriage certificate that listed her age as 18. The marriage was annulled soon after, and all records of the marriage were expunged in 1997, thanks to efforts from Aaliyah’s family, since she was too young to be married under Illinois law without her parents’ permission, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Neither Kelly nor Aaliyah spoke publicly of their marriage before the plane crash that killed Aaliyah in 2001.
Demetrius Smith, Kelly’s former tour manager and personal assistant, shared details about Kelly and Aaliyah’s wedding day in the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary.
“I’m not proud of that (day),” he said. “I had papers forged for them. Aaliyah was underage. We got the marriage license, we were at a hotel in Maywood, Illinois. It was just a quick little ceremony, nothing elaborate. Aaliyah didn’t have a white dress, Robert didn’t have on a tux, just everyday wear. Robert said ‘I do.’ Him and Aaliyah.”
1996: Tiffany Hawkins lawsuit
Hawkins, a Chicago woman filed suit against Kelly and his record, publishing and management companies, claiming she suffered physical and emotional harm from Kelly forcing her to have sex with him when she was 15 and participate in group sex with him and other underage girls.
According to the lawsuit, Hawkins began having sex with Kelly in 1991, and their relationship ended in 1994, when she turned 18. She originally filed suit against Kelly seeking $10 million in damages, but eventually settled the suit out of court in 1998.
August 2001: Tracy Sampson lawsuit
Sampson was a former Epic Records intern whofiled a civil suit against Kelly claiming he induced her “into an indecent sexual relationship” when she was 17.
Sampson’s lawyer Susan Loggans, who also represented Hawkins in her suit, alleged that Sampson was involved with Kelly between 2000 and 2001.
The suit was later settled for an undisclosed sum out of court, and while a confidentiality agreement prevented Sampson or Loggans from speaking about the case at the time, Sampson went public in January about the details of the case, telling Dateline that she settled the case for $250,000 and felt coerced into a sexual relationship with Kelly.
“I was in love with him. I just didn’t know what to do,” Sampson said. “I didn’t know if this was normal. I didn’t know if this was how adults acted. I just didn’t know.”
February 2002: Chicago police investigate Kelly over videotape
Chicago police opened an investigation into Kelly after a videotape was anonymously sent to the Sun-Times, showing him allegedly having sex with an underage girl.
The girl in the video was identified to the Sun-Times by Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, a singer who worked with Kelly and played in his band, who claimed that the girl was her niece and was 14 years old in the video.
Sparkle appeared extensively in the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, describing how she knew that her niece was the figure in the video.
“On the tape, my niece has the same hairstyle she had when she turned 14. That was her, for sure,” she said about her niece’s presence in the video. “And that was him. Definitely.”
April 2002: Patrice Jones lawsuit
Jones claimed Kelly coerced her into a sexual relationship after meeting her at a Chicago McDonald’s on her prom night.
Also represented by Loggans, Jones said she had sex with Kelly 20 to 30 times before her 17th birthday, and was forced to get an abortion when Kelly impregnated her. Kelly settled the suit out of court.
May 2002: Montina Woods lawsuit
Woods, a dancer who toured with Kelly, sued him for $50,000, after footage of her having sex with the singer circulated as part of a compilation tape with the video featuring the allegedly underage woman that was provided to the Sun-Times.
Woods claimed that she was unknowingly videotaped by Kelly during a sexual encounter in his recording studio. Kelly later settled the lawsuit out of court.
June 2002: Kelly pleads not guilty to child pornography
Following the investigation into the anonymous tape sent to the Sun-Times in February, Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography, corresponding to various acts shown in the tape. After Kelly was arrested at his vacation home in Florida, police found additional explicit footage, resulting in 12 additional counts of child pornography that were later dropped due to a lack of probable cause for the search warrants. Seven of the original charges would also eventually be dropped.
Kelly pled not guilty on all counts and would not see a trial for another six years.
2005: Andrea Kelly files for an order of protection
Kelly’s wife filed for an order of protection, claiming he became angry and hit her when she asked for a divorce, before later rescinding the order.
R. Kelly’s lawyer, Nathan Swerdlove, told the Chicago Tribune that the couple was working toward reconciliation.
“They had a squabble — and how many marriages don’t have that sort of thing?” Swerdlove said. “They’re trying to work things out, and they’d like to do it privately.”
In an interview in “Surviving R. Kelly,” Andrea Kelly described how she realized after her then-estranged husband’s indictment that she was a victim of domestic abuse.
“(Kelly) denied it for the longest time,” she said about her ex-husband’s crimes. “I finally realized it doesn’t get better, it gets worse. I had small children, they were already dealing with their father in the news having a court case dealing with pedophilia and children.”
“I just prayed and asked God for a sign, and something said to get my laptop, and I went to the National Domestic Violence Hotline,” she continued. “And there were 17 questions, and there were only two things on that list that Robert hadn’t done to me. And that’s when it became real to me, ‘Andrea, you’re being abused.’
2008: Kelly found not guilty on child-pornography charges
After six years of delays, Kelly’s trial began in May 2008 and lasted little over a month before the jury cleared him of all charges.
Through his spokesperson, Kelly thanked “(his fans) who stuck by him and supported him with such love. … And most of all, he wants to thank God for giving him the strength to get through this.”
2010: Jerhonda Pace lawsuit
Pace said she was 15 when she attended Kelly’s 2008 trial and met him outside the courthouse.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News in 2017, Pace said that she began a sexual relationship with Kelly in 2009 when she was 16, and that Kelly, who was aware of her age, instructed her to tell “anyone who asked that she was 19, and act like she was 25.”
Pace said she ended her relationship with Kelly in 2010 after he caught her texting a friend, claiming, “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on” by the star.
Pace’s family sued Kelly in 2010, claiming years of improper conduct, which Kelly settled out of court.
In an additional interview with Dateline in January 2019, Pace said that she had DNA evidence linking Kelly to his sexual abuse of her and that Kelly effectively imprisoned her in his residences and forced her to write incriminating letters that could be used against her.
“I had wrote these letters sayin’ I stole $250,000 worth of jewelry from him,” she said. “Even though it wasn’t real, I was still scared.”
After six months of isolation with Kelly, Pace was able to escape the house for 15 minutes and contact her mother with the details of her treatment, she said, prompting the family to file suit against Kelly.
July 2017: New reports emerge of Kelly’s alleged ‘sex cult’
The alleged abuses against Kelly returned to the headlines when Jim DeRogatis, who covered Kelly extensively for the Chicago Sun-Times and co-published landmark stories about his initial alleged crimes, wrote a new story for Buzzfeed News reporting that Kelly was keeping six women ages 18 to 31 in various properties in Chicago and Georgia, in which he secluded them from their families and physically and emotionally abused them.
February 2018: Kelly evicted from two Georgia homes
Kelly was evicted from two Atlanta-area homes for not paying rent, per court documents obtained by the Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to filings with the Fulton County magistrate court, Kelly owed more than $31,000 in past due payments to a property management company, for which he paid $3,000 a month and $11,542 a month, respectively, for two homes.
2018: #MuteRKelly takes hold
In a major step for the public campaigns to advocate for Kelly’s alleged victims, the Women of Color coalition of the Time’s Up campaign announced support for the existing “Mute R. Kelly” social media campaign, calling on RCA Records, Ticketmaster and other major music corporations to #MuteRKelly.
The “Mute R. Kelly” campaign was started in 2017 by Oronike Odeleye and Kenyette Barnes, and gained an important ally in Time’s Up, the organization devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse that was formed in the wake of Hollywood’s #MeToo scandals.
The Time’s Up statement demanded “appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women and their families for more than two decades.”
May 2018: Faith Rodgers lawsuit
Rodgers filed a criminal complaint with the Dallas Police Department claiming that Kelly “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her over the course of their year-long relationship when she was 19, and that he “willfully, deliberately and maliciously” gave her herpes.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Rodgers said that she met Kelly after his concert in San Antonio in March 2017, and he flew her to New York to attend one of his shows two months later, after which he coerced her into a sexual encounter, recording it on his iPad without her consent.
In addition to allegedly giving her herpes, Rodgers claimed Kelly planned for her to join the group of women who lives and travels with him, which previous accusers had described as a “sex cult.”
In a January 2019 press conference, Rodgers appeared alongside attorney Gloria Allred, who claimed she was representing Rodgers in the case against Kelly, and that Kelly had retaliated against Rodgers by posting private photos of Rodgers without her consent on social media and threatening to reveal his and Rodgers’ personal correspondences and details of their sexual activity.
Jan. 3 2019: ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ premieres on Lifetime
Following a tumultuous 2018 for Kelly, which saw protests mounting against the singer as more accusers continued to share their stories of alleged abuse, “Surviving R. Kelly” premiered on Lifetime on Jan. 3, a six-hour series that gathered many of Kelly’s accusers to present a disturbing and wide-ranging account of Kelly’s alleged crimes.
In the weeks after, the anti-Kelly outcry included canceled concert dates, his former collaborators pulling their songs with him, Chicago inspectors raiding his studio and find numerous building violations and prosecutors in Chicago and in Fulton County, Georgia, outside Atlanta, announcing their intentions to open new investigations of Kelly.
January 2019: RCA splits with R. Kelly
RCA Records, which is owned by Sony Music, and had represented R. Kelly removed the controversial singer from the list of artists on its website and reportedly cut ties with him.
Following the airing of “Surviving R. Kelly,” protesters swarmed Sony’s New York City headquarters, holding signs that demanded that the company drop Kelly.
February 2019: Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington join case against Kelly
In a Feb. 21 press conference, Allred announced that she was representing two new Kelly accusers, Scaff and Washington, and suggested that there is an ongoing investigation against Kelly by federal prosecutors in New York.
The women said they met Kelly at a party after one of his concerts in Baltimore in 1995 or 1996, when Scaff was 16 and Washington was 15. They were offered alcohol, cocaine and marijuana by a man in Kelly’s entourage, they said, and were invited to Kelly’s hotel room. There, Scaff said Kelly sexually assaulted her and that she “did not have the capacity to consent” at the time of the incident.
Allred said Scaff, now 40, and Washington, 39, who live in Maryland, were to meet with federal prosecutors in New York “to provide them with information relative to their ongoing investigation of R. Kelly.”
Feb. 22, 2019: Kelly is arrested, charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
Kelly turned himself in to a Chicago police precinct on Feb. 22 after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
After spending the weekend in jail, Kelly posted a $100,000 bail Monday, appearing in court later that day to plead not guilty on all counts.
The indictments against Kelly stem from four women’s cases against the singer, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.
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