R. Kelly: A Timeline of Sexual Abuse — The Strange Pen

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Allegations of sexual abuse against R. Kelly go back decades, but nobody cared because the hits kept coming.

April 1994:
“Bump N’ Grind” peaks at #1

July 1994:
Kelly marries then 15-year-old Aaliyah in an illegal ceremony.

Dec. 1996:
“I Believe I Can Fly” peaks at #1.

Dec. 1998:
“I’m Your Angel” with Celine Dion peaks at #1

Dec. 2000:
Chicago Sun-Times becomes the first outlet to report on a series of lawsuits against R. Kelly alleging sex between him and underage girls. Kelly protects himself with five and six figure settlements compelling silence.

June 2001:
“Fiesta” featuring Jay-Z peaks at #6.

June 2002:
R. Kelly is charged with 21 counts of child pornography.

Feb. 2002:
R. Kelly performs at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

March 2003:
“Ignition” peaks at #2.

Jan. 2003:
R. Kelly arrested on 12 additional counts of child pornography. Charges are later dropped on a technicality.

March 2004:
“Hotel” by Cassidy, featuring R. Kelly, peaks at #4.

June 2008:
R. Kelly acquitted on original child pornography charges.

Nov. 2013:
“Do What U Want” by Lady Gaga, featuring R. Kelly, peaks at #13.

July 2017:
Buzzfeed publishes a report accusing R. Kelly of trapping women in a sex cult.

Want to learn more? Surviving R. Kelly: For Black Girls, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

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About Penelope Strange