NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – R. Kelly claimed Friday that the media is attempting to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women. The R&B artist released a statement saying that he’s “heartbroken” by the accusations.
Calling himself “a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father,” Kelly said that the media “has dissected and manipulated these false allegations” and “perpetuated” the claims all in an “attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build.”
Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, but speculation about his alleged sexual misconduct has continued. The #MuteRKelly campaign was launched last month. Kelly said that he is not currently the subject of any criminal investigations.
However, a lawyer representing a Texas woman has claimed that Kelly was grooming her for a sex cult and knowingly infected her with a sexually transmitted disease. The Dallas Police Department confirmed that they were reviewing the claims made in a police report last month.
“We believe Mr. Kelly was aware he was infected with herpes when he passed it along to my client,” said attorney Lee Merritt, who plans to file a civil case against Kelly in federal court. His client said that she 19 years old when she met Kelly at a concert last March. The two began a nearly year-long relationship which included consensual, unprotected sex.
Over the last year, other women have been coming forward with accusations against Kelly of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse, putting the singer’s behavior under closer scrutiny. Kelly denied all of the allegations in a published report from The Washington Post.
The #MuteRKelly campaign has sought to stop Kelly’s music from being played, and for his concerts to be canceled. Time’s Up has joined that movement, seeking action from RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music and Ticketmaster. Kelly has not released a full album of new music since a 2016 Christmas album.
Kelly is one of pop music’s best-selling artists. Some of his biggest hits include tracks like “Bump N’ Grind,” “Ignition” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” Kelly has also written popular hits for other artists ranging from Celine Dion to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)