July 18, 2024

Attorney for R. Kelly victim thanks #MeToo and #TimesUp support to help ‘end Kelly’s predatory reign’

R. Kelly thegrio.com
SEPTEMBER 25: R. Kelly performs in concert at Barclays Center on September 25, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)

Philadelphia-based attorney S.Lee Merritt is representing the woman who is suing R. Kelly for having sex with her while she was a minor and for giving her a sexually transmitted disease.

Merritt released a statement thanking the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements for helping to close in on the embattled star who has been long accused of being a sexual predator. It reads in part:

As a survivor, our client has pertinent information and a body of evidence that can be used to finally bring an end to a pattern of abuse by Kelly that is ongoing and has continued virtually unchecked for over twenty-five (25) years. This evidence, however, will not alone be enough to abruptly end Kelly’s predatory reign.”

READ MORE: Women of Color in Time’s Up movement join R. Kelly protest

In the statement, Merritt goes on to describe the type of backlash his client has encountered since filing her claim:

“R. Kelly’s most recent victim, a twenty-year-old Texas woman, knew that her decision to file a criminal and civil complaint against the R & B icon would elicit the kind of backlash and victim shaming that has become routine in our culture. She did not anticipate that her stance would be supported by such a robust and prolific group of activists, community leaders and advocates that have longed called for the abuse of R. Kelly to be brought to an end. The recent proclamations by the national “Times-Up” and “Me Too” movement leadership taking aim at R. Kelly not only sent shockwaves through the global community, it reminded one young woman that when you stand up for what is right, you rarely stand alone.”

READ MORE: #DiningWhileBlack: Police called after couple refuses to give up table to white customer 

After an onslaught of recent protests over R. Kelly’s music and the rise of the #MuteRKelly campaign following countless sexual abuse claims, women of color within the Time’s Up organization released a statement with one goal– to shut the singer all the way down.

The case is eminent

In the lawsuit against Kelly, the Texas woman accuses him of a number of crimes including giving minors illegal drugs and alcohol, unlawful restraint, and “aggravated assault (via the referenced intentional STD infection).”

The woman (dubbed at Jane Doe) claims she was a member of Kelly’s exclusive “sex cult,” where he lured young girls in with promises of fame and fortune. As a member, she says she had to divulge confidential information about herself and her family as collateral. She also signed a contract.

According to Kelly’s reps, he denies all allegations.

Yet, this latest allegation continues a pattern of alleged misconduct that has been within the music industry for years. Allegations have  resurfaced against the disgraced singer in recent months following a documentary titled R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes.

Thanking the people on the forefront who have publicly vowed to help push the movement forward, Merritt is hoping more victims will come forward to further build this case.

“We are deeply appreciative of all of the media outlets, but most especially to Tom Joyner Morning Show, host of HerStory, Jacque Reid, journalist and #UsToo founder Sophia A. Nelson, activist Kaci Fox who has coordinated with #MuteRKelly, and attorney Gerald Griggs, who has represented the Savage Family in their mission to recover their daughter, and to all those who seek justice for black girls and women across the globe. We say thank you.”

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