At this point, it’s impossible to have a conversation about R. Kelly without acknowledging his 2002 trial, which saw claims of sex with a minor that were eventually reduced to child pornography charges. Shortly after the release of his latest album Black Panties in December 2013, the conversation sparked up once again as an interview with Jim DeRogatis–the person responsible for bringing those allegations against Kelly to light–revealed that there were likely “dozens” more sexual assault allegations that were never made public.
It appears that DeRogatis was on to something, as Page Six says it’s unearthed one of them—made as recently as 2010—by Kelly’s 36-year-old former housekeeper, whose sexual harassment claim was settled out of court for $100,000. The article goes on to say there’s been increasing “discord” between Kelly and some of his associates, positing that, much like this after-the-fact news, more claims will surface in due time.
As always it’s hard to say how—or even if—these new claims will affect Kelly’s popularity. After all, he headlined last year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in the city where all of these claims were made. And when Black Panties was released last December, it debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts—all but confirming that fans have more or less ignored the various allegations against him, or learned to separate them from Kelly’s work. With a planned sequel, White Panties, already in the works, it remains to be seen whether more allegations will do anything to stem his fans’ desires to hear him sing sex-crazed songs.
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