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R. Kelly Sentenced: ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Victims, Producers Respond

R. Kelly Sentenced: ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Victims, Producers Respond

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This 7 days, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 many years in prison. The singer, whose serious title is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people today across point out traces for prostitution.

R. Kelly still faces prices in Chicago for baby pornography and obstruction of justice, as well as further charges in state courts in Illinois and Minnesota. The musician, who was identified responsible on all 9 counts in opposition to him in the course of a 6-7 days trial previous September, lured his fans and aspiring musicians into sexually abusive and managing predicaments, including hostage-like circumstances of locking them up in rooms without foodstuff or entry to a bathroom for days.

A monumental instant in the ongoing struggle to hold abusers in ability accountable for their actions, the transform of activities for R. Kelly marks a staggering fall from grace for 1 of the largest hitmakers in R&B historical past — significantly because he experienced been trailed by damning allegations for decades, which went unchecked for years.

All over his job, R. Kelly was arrested and regularly accused of sexual abuse with young adults and minors. But continue to, he experienced the largest hits of his job and topped the Billboard charts, even accomplishing at the Winter Olympics in 2002 in the midst of a sexual intercourse tape scandal with a young teen surfacing in the press. In 2002, R. Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of earning youngster pornography, but was acquitted.

Several years and several years and many allegations afterwards, the tables started to convert immediately after he was matter of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired in January 2019. The docuseries place his victims on-digital camera to element the sexual abuse they claimed they endured at the arms of the singer. It went on to win a Peabody award.

“Surviving R. Kelly” captivated substantial praise from critics and garnered massive viewership as Lifetime’s leading system at the time. Soon soon after the docuseries aired, R. Kelly was dropped by his label, and the following month, he was formally charged with numerous counts of sexual abuse. Quite a few artists who experienced beforehand collaborated with the singer pulled their audio with him from streaming expert services, which includes Woman Gaga.

“Surviving R. Kelly” is credited for putting a megaphone to the long-held allegations from R. Kelly by offering his survivors a voice. Next the Life time docuseries, R. Kelly then sat down for an infamously not comfortable interview with CBS News’ Gayle King, which catapulted his stunning story even even more into the mainstream limelight to the place where it could no extended be overlooked, as it experienced been for so very long.

Now, his survivors say that the 30-year sentence is a major step toward the justice that has been a few decades in the producing.

“He prayed on youthful girls and boys for more than 30 yrs — it only seems in shape that he’s place absent for the similar sum of time,” Lisa Van Allen tells Variety.

Van Allen was the star witness in 2008 when R. Kelly was in courtroom for youngster pornography. At that time, she explained the evidence was there, but no one listened. He was acquitted. Van Allen very first met the singer on the set of a music video when she was a small. She then entered into a challenging romance with him, and was section of a sex tape that she mentioned she was coerced into when appearing in “Surviving R. Kelly.”

“Reflecting back on trial in 2008, I’m so happy to see how considerably we have come 14 a long time later on,” Van Allen suggests. “It provides me absolutely nothing but joy to know that I am, and will continue on, to be element of the alternative. I am thankful for all people that let us be read. I do it for everyone who feels voiceless — know that you are not on your own. We are not victims. We are survivors. Our function is not carried out, this is just the starting.”

Desire Hampton, an government producer on “Surviving R. Kelly,” is grateful to the survivors who broke their silence.

“[The] sentencing will have to have his survivors emotion all types of approaches today,” Hampton claims. “But I hope they know that by obtaining the courage to notify their stories, they’ve helped stop even further damage. I’m honored they sat for our cameras. I’m grateful that ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ experienced an afterlife that is this impactful.”

Government producer Jesse Daniels echoes that sentiment, telling Wide variety, “I’d like to admit the bravery of the females for sharing their tales, and primarily for the duration of this demo. They are far more than survivors — they are heroes.”

And R. Kelly’s sentencing is considerably even larger than just one human being, according to Tamra Simmons, an executive producer on “Surviving R. Kelly,” who states his prolonged sentence ought to provide as a warning sign to all abusers.

“This sentencing sends a concept to all predators out there,” Simmons tells Wide range. “No matter how a lot revenue you have, no matter how considerably electrical power you feel you have, you are not higher than the regulation.”

Jem Aswad contributed to this report.

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