R. Kelly, the Chicago R&B singer, has been found guilty in connection to years of allegations, including targeting young women for much of his career. However, despite the many accusations leveled against the singer, many people believe that his handlers and the children’s parents are equally culpable, and some are concerned about the light sentences they receive compared to Kelly. For instance, recently released tax records reveal that the singer paid $80,000 to the parents of one of the teenagers, Jane, he was involved with and allowed their daughter to sleepover with him.
Jane, who is now 37, testified during R. Kelly’s New York trial that she was introduced to the singer when she was just 14 and was intimate with him over 100 times before her 18th birthday. She accused her parents of letting her stay overnight at Kelly’s home without questioning what was going on. Moreover, an IRS agent confirmed that Jane’s parents received $80K while Jane received an undisclosed payment.
Jane’s confession and the revelation in the tax records have rekindled the conversation about the role of parents in the R. Kelly scandal and what kind of consequences they should face. Singer Kelly Price revealed that it is not uncommon in the music industry for parents to push their underage daughters onto older male celebrities in the hopes of making them stars.
The case of Aaliyah, a late singer and former partner of Kelly, is also worth noting. Many people speculate that Aaliyah’s mother was in on the secret and was even intimate with R. Kelly. Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, claimed in an interview with Dr. Oz last year that he thinks Aaliyah’s mother knew more than she let on.
In addition, the road manager who helped Kelly get a fake ID to marry Aaliyah, Demetrius Smith, was given a deal by the court to avoid being charged as long as he provided information to nail Kelly. Smith claimed during the Surviving R. Kelly documentary that Aaliyah was looking around for help, but her family did nothing as Kelly was paying them.
However, despite the involvement of parents and handlers in the case, R. Kelly received a 20-year sentence in Chicago. A judge determined that Kelly would do his 30-year sentence and 19 of his 20-year sentence concurrently, requiring the disgraced singer to spend an additional year to complete his Chicago sentencing. Kelly will also have to undergo mental health treatment upon his release along with mandatory therapy sessions.
Kelly’s sentencing brings closure to his long-standing legal battle. However, the case has revealed the role of parents and handlers in the exploitation of young women in the music industry, prompting discussions about accountability and the need for reform in the entertainment industry.