To have superstar singer-songwriter R. Kelly get reduced to nearly groveling to the media to loosen its grip from around his airpipe as he tries to rustle up some much-needed coins is practically unprecedented in modern entertainment.
The public mauling of the “Step in the Name of Love” crooner has been relentless for the past three months after Lifetime’s nuclear docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” aired at the top of the year. The pounding has been so brutal that Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, exploded in a teary tirade in front of “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King during an interview in early March.
This time, Kelly was markedly calmer, almost amiable. Sporting a salt-and-pepper goatee and clutching his signature cigar, “Kells” spoke directly to the media on his Instagram account before venturing to Springfield, Illinois, to perform for an unknown party at an undisclosed venue.
Kelly has been indicted by Chicago’s Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, all felonies that carry up to seven years in prison for each charge if convicted. This would be tantamount to a death sentence if he is found guilty.
His plea to be left alone while he makes money comes as Kelly is reportedly in dire financial straits. He had to have his fans to raise the $100K bail on two separate occasions in order to get out of jail on the sex charges and for unpaid child support, respectively.
Most of the public believe R. Kelly is guilty — with many feeling this way for the better part of three decades. But Kelly still has hard-core supporters.
One fan wrote on his IG post: “Don’t nobody on this earth have a Heaven or Hell to put this man in!!!! Leave him alone. Only God can judge!!”
Another R. Kelly fan pleaded in the IG comments section this way: “Babe 😩 Turn ya comments off and stop telling people where ya shows at!!!!”
Another commenter noted that if Kelly does not notify his followers where his shows are, they won’t know where to show up.