Singer R. Kelly‘s long-term court saga ended with the disgraced star being sentenced to jail for a long, long time.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” vocalist was arrested in 2019 and charged with racketeering and sex trafficking charges, including against minors. He vehemently disputed the claims at the time and did so throughout his legal proceedings.
Kelly’s team tried to employ a legal report they provided to the court to ask for mercy from the judge, even though the delicate matter would come to a head in September 2021 when the singer was found guilty of the allegations leveled against him.
The report included details of several interviews that showed how the singer’s illiteracy was reportedly taken advantage of by those around him at the height of his fame.
R. Kelly Said He ‘Was The Dummy’
According to Radar, Kelly’s legal team explored various strategies to seek leniency throughout the singer’s legal ordeal, which was brought on by his efforts to exploit his fame to ensnare victims he sexually assaulted.
One of these tactics was Kelly conducting many in-depth interviews with different physicians. He talked extensively about his alleged illiteracy from when he was a child to the point when he achieved fame. According to the singer, this flaw made it easier for others to take advantage of him and rob him of his fortune.
“I always get that if people could see my eyes or hear me read, they’d know I was the dummy that I was called at the time,” he said as per the publication.
Kelly then claimed that he constantly worried about his sanity and inability to study. He said that reading in front of the class gave him anxiety. The singer also mentioned how much he admired his classmates for being able to accomplish all that so effortlessly and for having no trouble interacting with others.
R. Kelly Claimed He Was A Victim Of Financial Exploitation
Regarding the singer’s claims of financial exploitation, he gave countless instances of how people he trusted had scammed him. He said he had urged one former manager to put his funds into building a recording studio, a cigar lounge, and other investments. Instead, the manager converted the funds for his personal use.
In a 2019 interview with Gayle King’s “CBS This Morning,” the R&B artist said that the persons he hired to manage his account had stolen his money, leaving him with only $300,000. This claim was also included in the court report.
“So many people have been stealing my money. People were connected to my account. I went by myself for the first time to a Bank of America. Didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know what was going on … three weeks ago to a month,” he told King at the time (via Page Six)
During his trial, Kelly’s legal team also presented arguments that Kelly had been sexually molested on several occasions beginning when he was a youngster of six or seven years old. At the time, Kelly’s molesters were alleged to be his older sister and also a landlord, and the abuse at times occurred on a “weekly basis.”
The singer’s early sexual assault, according to a statement sent by Renee Sorrentino, a clinical assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, may have contributed to his “hypersexuality,” or trouble managing sexual desires (via CNN).
Kelly’s anguish from losing his mother at a young age and witnessing his childhood sweetheart drown when he was a little lad were both mentioned throughout the trial. It was thought that all of these, in addition to his abuse as a young child, contributed to his convictions for crimes.
‘It’s Time For Mr. Kelly To Be Accountable’
The judge ordered Kelly to serve a 30-year jail sentence for the accusations brought against him, despite the arguments and reports presented by the singer’s attorney. Seven of Kelly’s victims, some of whom chose to remain nameless while others bravely testified at his trial, gave impact statements to the court before the sentence.
“It’s been 23 years since we knew each other, and you’ve victimized a lot of girls since then,” one victim said at the trial, adding, “Now it’s your turn to have your freedom taken from you.”
“No one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims,” attorney Gloria Allred, counsel for the victims, told reporters (via CNN). “But at least it’s time for Mr. Kelly to be accountable.”
Kelly’s present sentence is anticipated to be lengthened by a couple of years. In August, he will stand trial in federal court in Chicago on accusations of obstruction and child pornography.