The parents of the underage victim in the R. Kelly sex tape have been buried in debt in the years since the singer was put on trial for having sex with a minor, including filing for bankruptcy three times.
The identity of the victim in the infamous tape, which was shot sometime between 1998 and 2000, has never publicly been revealed. Many things point to the family, including information revealed in the "Surviving R. Kelly" docu-series, but The Blast will not disclose their name.
Police began investigating Kelly in 2002 after being sent an alleged sex tape of Kelly with a minor. By then, the girl in the tape was 17 but her relatives stated she would have been 14 years old when the tape was filmed.
Kelly was charged with child pornography but the alleged victim never cooperated with law enforcement. Many have speculated Kelly may have reached a settlement with the girl’s family in exchange for them not cooperating.
In 2008, Kelly was found not guilty at trial.
According to newly uncovered court documents obtained by The Blast, in August 2007, several months before the trial began, the parents of the victim in the tape filed for bankruptcy. They listed $405,381 in assets but $449,219 in liabilities.
The family stated their average monthly income was $8,200 with monthly expenses totaling $8,400.
The father said he was pulling in $7,200 a month for his job as “Bass Production” and “Music Production,” where he had been employed for four years. He named his employer as Madison & Ridgeland in Oak Park, Illinois.
The mother worked at Macy’s with monthly wages of $1,200. They claimed to only have $300 in cash on hand.
The victim’s father has music credits showing he worked with R. Kelly on his 2003 album "Chocolate Factory," along with his 2005 "TP.3 Reloaded" and even as recent as 2010 for his album, "Love Letter." He also worked on Jaheim’s 2007 album, which was produced by R. Kelly.
The couple owned a home in Burbank, Illinois with a mortgage of $240,000, a 2005 Ford Focus with $21k owed and a 2006 Lincoln Navigator for $74k. They owed tens of thousands in debts including unpaid bills, past due credit card balances and thousands owed to Sears and other department stores.
The monthly expenses included “school tuition" costing $668 a month, $2,186 for their mortgage and $1,552 for their cars.
The court discharged their debt in November 2007. Per the law, people have to wait eight years after their original bankruptcy to file a second one.
But in September 2010, despite the law, the victim’s parents filed for bankruptcy again with thousands in debt owed. They still owned the same home but with a second mortgage of $60,000 now owed. They only had $100 in cash at the time.
The father listed himself as unemployed but was making $1,540 a month and his wife was working at a mall for $1,200 a month. But the family had monthly expenses of $3,900, leaving them in the red $1,300 a month.
At the time, the couple listed having an 18-year-old son and 25-year-old daughter and listed them both as dependents.
The case was dismissed months after they filed when the trustee discovered they had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2007 and had had their debt discharged, telling them they would have to wait until the eight-year limit passed.
The parents did just that and re-filed for bankruptcy for a third time in December 2016, listing only $11,450 in personal property and owing over $100,000 to creditors. They owned a 2007 Nissan Maxima worth $7k, guitars and amps ($700), and had $700 in the bank.
The victim’s parents also owed thousands in tax debt, tens of thousands in credit card debt, $32,000 for their Ford Focus which was being repossessed, among countless other unpaid bills. The couple also no longer owned their home in Illinois.
At the time, the father was working as a musician at a church in Bolingbrook, Illinois and said he worked there for 10 years. The mother now said she was working as an office manager and the couple made $3,700 combined monthly.
In March 2017, the bankruptcy judge once again granted the parents a discharge of their debt and the case was closed.
The alleged victim and her parents have never spoken out about Kelly.