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Posted: January 08, 2019

Who is R. Kelly? 7 things to know in wake of 'Surviving R. Kelly' docuseries

What You Need to Know: "Surviving R. Kelly" Allegations

By Fiza Pirani, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly has threatened to “sue everybody” involved in the multipart documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired over the weekend on Lifetime.

>> On AJC.com: Lifetime digs into R. Kelly’s sexual predatory behavior in six-part documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly’

According to TMZ, Kelly did not watch the show, but is “disgusted” and plans to file lawsuits against anyone who took part in executive producer dream hampton’s creation, including Lifetime and the alleged survivors of his abuse.

The six-hour, three-part special detailed accounts of Kelly’s history of alleged physical and emotional abuse of women, including a recent “abusive cult” in which the singer is accused of holding women against their will.

>> On AJC.com: Conclusion of Lifetime R. Kelly docuseries makes singer a trending topic on Twitter again

The claims, reported in July 2017 by Jim DeRogatis of BuzzFeed, come from sources living in one of the two homes in which Kelly is reportedly running the cult, including from one in metro Atlanta.

>> On AJC.com: R. Kelly accused of abusing women, running 'cult' in metro Atlanta 

Here are seven things to know about R. Kelly: 

1. He was born in Chicago.

Robert Sylvester Kelly was born in Hyde Park, Chicago, in Illinois and grew up with three siblings and a single mother.

>> On AJC.com: John Legend, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper, more denounce R. Kelly after docuseries

2. He is a three-time Grammy winner.

In 1998, Kelly won best R&B song, best male R&B vocal performance and best song written for a motion picture for his hit, “I Believe I Can Fly.”

>> On AJC.com: ‘I’m just disgusted’: Twitter weighs in on night 1 of Lifetime’s R. Kelly docuseries

3. Kelly wrote about being sexually abused as a child by an older woman in his autobiography.

In his 2012 memoir “Soulacoaster,” Kelly wrote about being sexually abused as a child by an older woman, who he referred to as a relative.

In an interview with GQ, Kelly said the abuse went on from around age 7 or 8 to 14 or 15 and occurred every other day or week.

4. He has been accused of sexual misconduct several times.

DeRogatis, the same reporter behind 2017’s BuzzFeed story, penned the first sexual abuse allegations against Kelly in a 2000 Chicago Sun-Times story, which focused on a woman named Tiffany Hawkins, who claimed the two had sex when she was 15-18 years old between 1991 to 1994.

In 2013, DeRogatis, who received anonymously sourced sex tapes of Kelly and underage girls, said he had interviewed nearly two dozen women who claimed Kelly sexually abused them, according to Village Voice.

In 2008, after he was arrested and indicted on child pornography charges, Kelly was found not guilty on all 14 counts.

>> On AJC.com: National Sexual Assault Hotline reports increase in calls after R. Kelly doc

5. He married a 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, faking her age in a falsified marriage certificate.

The late singer Aaliyah Haughton, who died tragically in a plane crash at age 22, met R. Kelly when she was 12 years old.

In 1994, after the two formed a close partnership, Kelly, 27, secretly married 15-year-old Aaliyah using a falsified marriage certificate in which she lied about being 18 years old.

Eventually, Aaliyah’s family found out about the controversial marriage and the two ended the union with an annulment. 

Kelly and Aaliyah also began recording the album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” in 1993.

6. An April 2017 lawsuit claimed that Kelly had an affair with a deputy’s wife.

In April 2017, Kelly was accused of being involved with the wife of Kenny Bryant, a deputy in the Mississippi Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.

Asia Childress, Bryant’s wife, lied about ending the relationship with Kelly when she and Bryant married.

>> Read more trending news 

Eventually, Childress convinced Bryant to move to Georgia for his career, but “the ulterior motive ... was to foster her relationship with R. Kelly,” the lawsuit read.

Bryant said he went through “grievous mental and emotional distress” and “financial ruin.”

More about the lawsuit.

7. Kelly reportedly has a home in Atlanta.

In a 2015 interview with AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri, Kelly said: “I’ve always loved Atlanta, I’ve always called it Chicago’s cousin. When I come to Atlanta it reminds me of my hometown. I’ve got a lot of friends here, so it always felt like home. I used to say all the time when I get a chance I’m gonna get a three-flat and come to Atlanta and I finally got my chance and I’m here and I’m just trying to plant a few seeds here musically.”

>> On AJC.com: A chat with R. Kelly about moving to Atlanta, the future of R&B and his new album, ‘Buffet’

According to the 2017 BuzzFeed story, one of the homes in which Kelly is accused of running a cult in is located in Georgia's Johns Creek neighborhood in north Fulton County.



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