In an illuminating interview with freelance writer andRookie music editor Jessica Hopper for The Village Voice, music journalist Jim DeRogatis discusses the many, many underreported stories of R. Kelly’s history of sexual assault.
DeRogatis, now a professor at Columbia College Chicago, was the first to report on the charges against R. Kelly, when he was the pop-music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times 15 years ago. As Hopper writes, DeRogatis “was anonymously delivered the first of two videos he would receive depicting the pop star engaging in sexual acts with underage girls.” He’s since been one of the only journalists, along with his Suncolleague Abdon Pallaschhom, to consistently report on the accusations of assault against Kelly over the last decade-plus.
Below are some of the most important quotes from Hopper’s interview with DeRogatis about R. Kelly’s alleged crimes, and why more journalists and fans are not talking about them.
DeRogatis on the initial reports of R. Kelly’s sex with minors:
They 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. READ MORE HERE