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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: R. Kelly performs in concert at Barclays Center on September 25, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)
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R. Kelly Discusses Abuse As A Child, Aaliyah & More In Interview With 'GQ'

Recently, Kelly met with GQ to amend some of the talk—discussing abuse as a child, days on trial for child pornography, his relationship with late Princess of R&B Aaliyah, and even a few words on Bill Crosby's downfall.

As R. Kelly's music gained ignition, cultural representations of his scandal-clad career made the world more familiar with a remix of the R&B singer/producer's life story. His sexual habits not only fueled his explicit lyrics and latest album The Buffet but the rumors tarnishing the Grammy-award winner's reputation. Recently, Kelly met with GQ to amend some of the talk—discussing sexual abuse as a child, days on trial for child pornography, his relationship with the late Aaliyah, and even a few words on Bill Crosby's downfall.

READ MORE: R. Kelly’s ‘HuffPost Live’ Interview Didn’t Go So Well… Because He Walked Off

R. Kelly starts with his upbringing in a poverty-stricken Chicago neighborhood where he was taunted for his inability to read. A close relationship with his single mother could not distract him from his father's absence in their South Side home, he told GQ. Also plaguing his childhood were years of sexual abuse by a different female relative and attempts by a male family friend—experiences under lock and key to everyone, mother and partners included, until his memoir, Soulacoaster in 2012, and more in detail now with GQ.

"It teaches you to definitely be sexual earlier than you should have, than you're supposed to." Kelly dates the molestation, oral sex, and intercourse by his kin as far back as age 7 and going on into his teen years. "As I'm older, I look at it and I know that it had to be not just about me and them, but them and somebody older than them when they were younger, and whatever happened to them when they were younger," Kelly said. "I looked at it as if there was a sort of like, I don't know, a generational curse, so to speak, going down through the family. Not just started with her doing that to me.”

On the topic of underage affairs, the writer, Chris Heath, doesn't shy away from the Aaliyah question—mainly the Illinois marriage certificate between a "Robert S. Kelly" and an "Aaliyah D. Haughton," seen in our Dec 1994 - Jan 1995 print issue. Sexual contact and pregnancy flooded the rumor mills surrounding the relationship between two R&B hitmakers. A possible marriage union could dissolve their seemingly professional friendship further in the public's eyes. Even-more-so, the then-27-year-old Kelly would potentially have created a comprising situation with a 15-year-old wife and lack of consent by his spouse's parents.

Additionally, the reported certificate lists the bride's age as 18 years old, delegitimazing a supposed ceremony with false information. When asked about this particular scandal, Kelly replied that Aaliyah's parents asked him to refrain from the topic—which he adheres."I know Aaliyah's not here and can't speak for herself, but there was a time that she was plenty here, after that rumor and all of that stuff started," he said. "Plenty grown. She was 22 and could speak for herself. Her mother, her father, anybody else, could speak and say whatever they wanted.”

READ MORE: Aaliyah Biopic To Delve Into Relationship With R. Kelly

And despite his past, Kelly told GQ that he is determined to ace fatherhood. He idolizes Bill Cosby, he clarifies, the Cliff Huxatble image of Cosby. But with legal battles the comedian/actor faces today, Kelly has more in common with Cosby than just having kids. The "I Believe I Can Fly" artist said that he had his own share of, as described, out-of-the-blue accusations when indicted on child pornography charges and with other allegations of sexual involvement with minors.

His experiences makes him question what Cosby is going through. "When I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there's something strange about it," he said. "When you wait 70 years, 50 years, 40 years, to say something that simple, it's strange. You know why I say that is because it happened to me, and it wasn't true.”

Check out the rest of R. Kelly's interview for GQ here.

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Vanessa Bryant Shares Letter From Gigi's Friend On Anniversary Of Kobe And Daughter's Death

It's been one year since the heartbreaking loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna aka "Gigi." Today, on the anniversary of their passing, Bryant's wife, Vanessa shared an emotional letter penned by her late daughter's best friend, Aubrey Callaghan.

"Dear Mrs. Bryant," starts the one-page letter by the teen. "I am thinking and praying for you constantly. Please do not feel like you have to read this. I cannot begin to comprehend what you are going through." Callaghan goes on to write about Gianna's caring spirit and how she was a "fiery and stubborn" girl who fought for what she believed in.

Vanessa posted the full letter on her Instagram account, thanking Aubrey, while also sharing how she misses her daughter and husband dearly. "Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna’s best friends, Aubrey. I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you)," wrote Bryant in her caption. "Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig."

She added: "My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. ♥️ I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!"

 

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Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other passengers were killed in a helicopter crash in Santa Monica Mountains as they made their way to a basketball tournament on the morning of Jan. 26, 2020. Although the investigation has been ongoing, the National Transportation Safety Board will be releasing its final report on the cause of the accident on Feb. 9.

Last year, Vanessa filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the pilot's estate, employer, Island Express, and OC Helicopters, a travel agency that has made flight arrangements for the Bryant family over the years.

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Keyshia Cole poses backstage at the 2019 Soul Train Awards presented by BET at the Orleans Arena on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Keyshia Cole Apologizes For Late Appearance On 'Verzuz'

Keyshia Cole is apologizing for delaying the Verzuz event with Ashanti. Days after setting a new record for the music celebration, the singer decided to address what happened in the Instagram Live room that night and why she was over an hour late.

"I want to apologize for not sitting my a** in that seat, okay? Because I was there and I should’ve sat down," said the Fox Soul talk show host to her friend, singer-songwriter Elijah Blake on Instagram Live. "I should’ve just sat in the seat, no matter if I felt like the visual wasn’t clear or [if] they said my music wasn’t gonna be right or whatever it was. I think that more so than anything, people wanted me to sit, be present…even though they didn’t know that I was present.”

Cole explained how rapper and newfound singing friend O.T. Genasis pointed out the quality of the live stream as she prepared to step into the Verzuz camera. She shared how she became skeptical of the Internet connection and wanted to make sure it was fixed to avoid her video quality turning out like that of the Teddy Riley vs. Babyface celebration.

"When I was literally in the back, and putting on the last touches and I'm looking at the video from back in my dressing room. I said, 'Why does my picture look so dark?' As soon as that happened, O.T. came back and said, you know, they've gotta fix the internet connection because you're going to be experiencing another situation...I was like, 'I don't want to go on and they not see me. And I'm looking blurry, the connection is not right.' I said. 'Y'all to fix that first and then I'll go out there.'"

She went on to say how her sound connection became an issue and needed to be changed prior to her sitting down. Cole also denied that she was tipsy while taking part in the Verzuz. "People were thinking I was taking shots the whole time. That's not true. That's a known fact that you can't really be sauced up while you're trying to sing and hit notes. It wasn't until the end of the show when I was like let me get a shot."

Blake brought up how Keyshia wasn't feeling well and was drinking tea, but Cole made it clear that her health had nothing to do with what went down at the Verzuz. If anything, the singer says she was nervous as all hell. "Oh my God, I was shaking. I was like nervous, but I always get nervous no matter what show."

Watch the full interview below.

 

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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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