For better or worse, many celebrities have decided to share their opinion on R. Kelly’s case after he was found guilty in his federal sex-trafficking and racketeering trial on Monday (Sept. 27).
Bill Cosby’s reaction to the verdict was shared by his representative Andrew Wyatt in a conversation with TMZ. According to the outlet, the disgraced comedian, who was released from prison earlier this year on a sexual assault conviction due to a technicality, believes the R&B singer may have “been railroaded.”
“We talked about it today and the first thing he said was, ‘Look, the guy was railroaded,’” Wyatt shared with TMZ. “As he said, Gloria Allred did the same thing that she did with him. You parade women out and you stir up the public sentiment to go against him. And that’s what they did to R. Kelly.”
“What we see in America today, you know, with R. Kelly is an assault on Black men,” continued Wyatt. “This is an assault on successful Black men who are doing great things.”
Chuck D also gave his two cents regarding Kelly’s conviction. The Public Enemy leader took to Twitter to share his opinion that the R&B singer may have room for rehabilitation, comparing him to Ike Turner and Rick James.
“Abused in his youth… an addict as a adult… Ike Turner served 18 months in prison.. Rick James did similar time,” he wrote. “Ike came out a changed positive human being. How long should R Kelly spend in prison -and does a USA system give a man a chance for a man to change his world around?“
In a statement to The Wrap, Chuck D clarified his tweets, saying, “JUST TO BE CLEAR, I’m not the R. Kelly fan here. I ain’t got any of his songs. And his actions were trash.”
Its not a sympathetic question at all . Not the least.
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) September 28, 2021
R&B singer and former R. Kelly collaborator Sparkle was one of the first to expose his predatory behavior. In 2008, she testified that the Grammy Award-winning artist was on camera urinating and engaging in sexual acts with her then-teenaged niece.
“Back then — and still today — Black women aren’t really cared about,” Sparkle, whose real name is Stephanie Edwards, told the New York Times on Tuesday (Sept. 28). “If Robert did what he did to white women, we wouldn’t even be here.”
She also spoke in an in-depth interview with The Cut regarding the entire ordeal.
“I didn’t think I would be emotional. But I am,” admitted a visibly shaken Sparkle. “It’s just been a long time for me, dealing with this. On the one hand, I think I’m a little sad because Robert was my ex-mentor and what he did was just a punch to my chest. And I’m also relieved. Thank God they got it right this time. At the first trial, nobody believed me. I hope all the girls, boys, and women affected by him are also breathing a sigh of relief. There’s finally some justice, though we have to wait and see what the sentence is. I was the Lone Ranger at first, and now I have my riders behind me.”
Kelly was found guilty on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex-trafficking statute in a New York federal court. He faces between 10 years and life behind bars will be sentenced on May 4, 2022.