A Brief Timeline of R. Kelly's Sexual Misconduct:
1991: A then-24-year-old Kelly met 12-year-old Aaliyah Haughton. Three years later, Kelly produced the Aaliyah album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, and married the singer using a false birth certificate that claimed the 15-year-old Aaliyah was 18.
1996: Tiffany Hawkins claimed in a lawsuit that she began having sex with R. Kelly in 1991 when she was just 15 and he was 24. Hawkins was an aspiring singer. According to court documents, covered by the Chicago Sun-Times, Hawkins’ relationship with Kelly ended in 1994 when she turned 18, and Hawkins then slit her wrists in a suicide attempt. Days after she gave a “hair-raising” seven-hour deposition, Hawkins settled her lawsuit with Kelly in 1998 and signed a confidentiality agreement.
2001: Tracy Sampson claimed in a lawsuit against Kelly that she began having a sexual relationship with the singer when she was a 17-year-old intern. She wrote in her lawsuit: “I was coerced into receiving oral sex from a girl I did not want to have sex with. I was often treated as his personal sex object and cast aside. He would tell me to come to his studio and have sex with him; then tell me to go. He often tried to control every aspect of my life including who I would see and where I would go.”
A videotape was sent anonymously to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2001. The editors believed it to be evidence of possible child pornography involving R. Kelly and sent it to police. This tape did not lead to Kelly’s later arrest, as WBEZ noted in 2013.
2002: Patrice Jones said Kelly impregnated her and then coerced her into an abortion that he paid for. She sued Kelly. Her lawsuit claimed Kelly promised to teach her about the music business as he had sex with her as a 16- and 17-year-old. Jones’ lawyer said at the time of the suit that the abortion had a serious effect on her mental well-being.
In the the infamous “child pee” tape, 26 minutes and 39 seconds of footage showing Kelly engaging in sex acts with and urinating on a young girl, who clearly appeared to be a minor and was reportedly 14 years old, was turned over to the police, and later that year Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of making child pornography, but not rape.
2004: Police said that during a search of R. Kelly’s home in Florida in June 2002 they found several images of Kelly with underage women engaging in sexual activity. In 2004, a judge ruled against allowing the use of that evidence, saying it was obtained illegally due to the terms of the search warrant.
2008: The case would not go to trial until 2008, in a strategy that some experts call “victory by delay.” The jury would eventually conclude that they could not conclusively prove that the girl on the tape was a minor, and Kelly was found not guilty on all counts.
2013: After five relatively quiet years, the Kelly’s allegations became a topic of conversation again after DeRogatis publicly condemned Pitchfork for booking him to perform at that year’s Pitchfork Festival. “The saddest fact I’ve learned is: Nobody matters less to our society than young black women,” he said in a Village Voice interview.
2016: A Hinds County Sheriff's Department deputy has filed a lawsuit against singer R. Kelly for allegedly having an affair with his wife. According to reports by WAPT and WLBT, Deputy Kenny Bryant filed the lawsuit against Kelly on April 21 in Hinds County Circuit Court. The lawsuit claims that Bryant's wife, Asia Childress, had a romantic relationship with Kelly prior to their July 15, 2012 wedding. Bryant says he was told that the relationship was at an end. Bryant said the relationship with Kelly rekindled when his wife attended a Kelly concert in October 2012.
2016: Kelly goes public with relationship with 19-year-old. Fans on social media were aghast when Kelly was photographed at a party with then-19-year-old Halle Calhoun. While the pair’s apparent relationship was not in violation of any laws, for some it brought up distasteful memories of Kelly’s past. “Kelly has a history of preying on underage girls,” Tom Sykes wrote at the Daily Beast. “So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the 49-year-old is now reportedly dating a teenager.”
2017: R. Kelly is once again being accused of having sex with underage women and holding them against their will in what their parents are calling a "sex cult." It is being claimed that women who live with Kelly, who he calls his “babies,” are required to call him “Daddy” and must ask his permission to leave the Chicago recording studio or their assigned rooms in the “guest house” Kelly rents near his own rented mansion in suburban Atlanta. A black SUV with a burly driver behind the wheel is almost always parked outside both locations. Kelly confiscates the women’s cell phones, they said, so they cannot contact their friends and family; he gives them new phones that they are only allowed to use to contact him or others with his permission. Kelly films his sexual activities, it is said, and shows the videos to men in his circle.
2017: BuzzFeed publishes Derogatis’s “cult” story. DeRogatis’s new story gives the most vivid rendering we’ve seen yet of the emotional abuse and manipulation that sources say goes along with Kelly’s sexual conduct. For example, a former personal assistant to the singer told DeRogatis that Kelly only permits the women to wear jogging suits so that other men can’t see the outlines of their bodies. When other men are in the same room, she said, Kelly “would make the girls turn around and face the wall in their jogging suits because he doesn’t want them to be looked at by anyone else.” Linda Mensch, Kelly’s attorney, denied the claims in a statement to BuzzFeed. “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life,” she wrote in part.
March 2018: R Kelly accused of grooming 14-year-old girl as 'sex pet' in a BBC3 documentary. Former girlfriend Kitti Jones alleges the R&B star groomed an underage girl as well as her and other young women. She said: “I was introduced to one of the girls, that he told me he ‘trained’ since she was 14, those were his words. I saw that she was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I’d say and her mannerisms were like mine. That’s when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets. He calls them his pets.”
April 2018: A new accuser has come forward to allege that singer R. Kelly groomed her for his sex cult and gave her an STD. A new claim accuses the singer of infecting an unidentified woman with an STD and says the victim ended their relationship in February. According to the New York Daily News, Lee Merritt, the woman's attorney, says the couple's relationship included "several forms of criminal misconduct." Kelly allegedly "furnished alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor" and is accused of "unlawful restraint and aggravated assault."
April 2018: R. Kelly’s Lawyer, Publicist and Assistant Ditch Singer Amid More Sexual Misconduct Allegations. R. Kelly’s entertainment lawyer, Linda Mensch, confirmed to the BBC that she no longer represents the singer, who has also been ditched by his executive assistant, Diane Copeland.
July 2018: R Kelly self releases a 19-minute song, I Admit, on Soundcloud where he directly responds to the #MuteRKelly movement and the numerous allegations against him. It was panned by critics. Hannah Giorgis of The Atlantic compared the song's structure to Kelly's Trapped in the Closet opera, and remarked, "The specter of harmful actions is softened by the harmonies of the lullaby." Giorgis described Kelly's delivery as "a stomach-churning mix of self-pity and hubris" and criticized Kelly for refusing to address the alleged victims directly. She wrote, "none of the women who have recounted tales of Kelly’s abuse is worthy of being the hero in this story. Kelly, and Kelly alone, occupies that mantle." Ann-Derrick Gaillot of The Outline considered "I Admit" a "bad song" and "a 20-minute long plea to save his dying career", and stated that the release of the song demonstrated that Kelly was "no longer invincible". Michael Arcenaux of Rolling Stone lambasted Kelly for attempting to "invoke his own trauma to excuse the grief he is alleged to have caused in so many women and girls".
October 2018: Lifetime released a trailer on Monday for its three-part documentary series, Surviving R Kelly, detailing the decades’ worth of sexual abuse allegations against singer R. Kelly.
The series, which Lifetime announced in May, features interviews with several women who have accused Kelly of sexual abuse, as well as conversations with people from the singer’s inner circle. Other interviewees include Me Too creator Tarana Burke, musician John Legend and Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, according to Lifetime.
October 2018: Lawyer M. Craig Robertson filed a motion to withdraw as Kelly's attorney in the case against him for for allegedly having an affair with a Hinds County Sheriff's Department deputy's wife. A hearing on that issue is set for Dec. 14.
January 2019: Lifetime debuted the bombshell documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” in a special three-night-event, on January 3rd, 4th and 5th. With over 50 interviews including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk-show host and former DJ Wendy Williams, ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly, and many others, the true story of R. Kelly’s controversial past will be revealed beginning in 1970 through present day, shedding light on the R&B star whose history of alleged abuse of underage African American girls has, until recently, been largely ignored by mainstream media.