Reporter Revisits R. Kelly’s Sexual Assault Allegations 15 Years Later

Rucuss staffDecember 17, 2013

Former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jim DeRogatis is still disgusted by the sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly almost 15 years later.

At that time Rogatis was a music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times when anonymously received the first of two videos depicting Kelly allegedly engaging in sexual acts with underage girls.

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Rogatis, who now has a syndicated public radio show Sound Opinions and a professor at Columbia College, along with his former Sun-Times colleague Abdon Pallasch broke the story.


Rogatis and Pallasch interviewed hundreds of people over the years, including dozens of young women whose lives DeRogatis claims were ruined by the singer. Rogatis goes into details about the allegations to The Village Voice.

The [accusations] were stomach churning. The one young woman, who had been 14 or 15 when R. Kelly began a relationship with her, detailed in great length, in her affidavits, a sexual relationship that began at Kenwood Academy: He would go back in the early years of his success and go to Lina McLin’s gospel choir class. She’s a legend in Chicago, gospel royalty. He would go to her sophomore class and hook up with girls afterward and have sex with them. Sometimes buy them a pair of sneakers. Sometimes just letting them hang out in his presence in the recording studio. She detailed the sexual relationship that she was scarred by. It lasted about one and a half to two years, and then he dumped her and she slit her wrists, tried to kill herself. Other girls were involved. She recruited other girls. He picked up other girls and made them all have sex together. A level of specificity that was pretty disgusting.

Her lawsuit was hundreds of pages long, and Kelly countersued. The countersuit was, like, 10 pages long: “None of this is true!” We began our reporting. We knocked on a lot of doors. The lawsuits, the two that we had found initially, had been settled. Kelly had paid the women and their families money and the settlements were sealed by the court. But of course, the initial lawsuits remain part of the public record.

Rogatis also said that one of Kelly’s alleged young girlfriends was pressured into getting an abortion.

There was a young woman that he picked up on the evening of her prom. The relationship lasted a year and a half or two years. Impregnated her, paid for her abortion, had his goons drive her. None of which she wanted. She sued him.

Read the full interview here.


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