As we continue to condemn R. Kelly for his pedophilia behavior, noted in Surviving R. Kelly, let’s not forget one important matter, he has children.
It’s crucial that we protect these women and young black girls in general, but we must also be mindful and shield his children from more pain. After all, they didn’t ask for this.
Lifetime’s docu-series ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ features interviews with former girlfriends, associates, and his ex-wife Andrea Kelly, as well as Legend and singer Stephanie ‘Sparkle’ Edwards. The network describes the doc as “riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia.”
The series sparked well-needed discussions about the topics mention in the above quotes from fans, celebrities, and insiders. The one argument that is not very prevalent is how it’s affecting R. Kelly’s three kids: Joann (Born in 1998), Jay, named Jaya (born in 2000); and his youngest, Robert Jr. a.k.a Little Rob (born in 2002).
The first public allegations against R. Kelly originated in 2000 after former music critic Jim DeRogatis wrote the Chicago Sun-Times report: “R. Kelly Accused of Sex with Teenage Girls.” The article detailed how Kelly had utilized his fame into having sex with girls as young as 15. The article reveals how Kelly was sued for $10 million by aspiring singer Tiffany “Tia” Hawkins, who began having a sexual relationship with Kelly in 1991 when she was 15 and he was 24. Kelly denied the allegations after the publication.
In 2002, Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of making child pornography after a video surfaced and allegedly showed him engaging in sexual acts with a 14-year-old. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted after both he and the young girl denied that it was them in the video. Jurors claimed they were certain that Kelly was the man on the tape, but uncertainty around the identity of the girl and her age made them doubt whether the video counted as child pornography.
Following the long, drawn-out case, Andrea Kelly, who Kelly divorced in 2009 after marrying in 1996, said the case haunted the kids.
“My children have had to deal with kids telling them, ‘Your daddy is the guy who peed on people,’” she stated at the time, “and it’s ongoing.”
R. Kelly’s children range from 16 to 21 in age. They currently live in Los Angeles, close to Andrea, and are well-aware about their dad’s past. In a recent interview with ABC, they spoke about not having any contact with Kelly.
We’re sure this new Lifetime docu-series has stirred up a lot of emotions in these children, and we only hope they continue to have the strength and courage to deal with the backlash of their father’s actions.
Let’s not forget Joann, Jay and Robert Jr. when we share our opinions to the world, whether it be on social media or other portals.