Fifteen years after the sexual allegations that tainted R. Kelly’s career surfaced, the Village Voice sat down with Chicago Sun-TImes reporter Jim DeRogatis, who reportedly broke the news, in an unfiltered interview about Kells’ alleged relationships with underage girls.
While visiting V-103 to promote his recent release Black Panties, Kells dodged the question by thanking his supporters. “I want my fans and everybody to know out there that I appreciate everybody’s support from the very beginning of my career,” he told Big Tigger.
Though the Chicago native was confronted about the “stomach-churning” accusations directly, he did not want to dwell in the past. “I feel like I got the football, man. I’m running towards the touchdown,” he continued. “Stopping and looking back…mess around and get tackled,” he said.
In the Village Voice article, DeRogatis recalled the extent of his research and discussed how several victims were deeply affected by the ordeal.
“[The lawsuits] were stomach churning. The one young woman, who had been 14 or 15 when R. Kelly began a relationship with her, detailed in great length, in her affidavits, a sexual relationship that began at Kenwood Academy…,” DeRogatis said. “She detailed the sexual relationship that she was scarred by. It lasted about one and a half to two years, and then he dumped her and she slit her wrists, tried to kill herself.”
Though Kells was acquitted of the child porn charges, he also told Big Tigger that his response to the naysayers is in the final track of his Black Panties.
“As long as I got fans screaming my name, buying my records and supporting R. Kelly, everybody who doesn’t agree should listen to the last song on Black Panties,” he said. “That song’s title, in case you don’t own the new album (and we really, really hope you aren’t giving money to this guy) is called simply ‘Shut Up.'”
Watch the full interview below.