was indicted today (June 5th) on 21 counts of producing child pornography, a
felony charge that could land the R&B singer behind bars for 15 years. Authorities
have studied the 26 minute tape, which apparently depicts Kelly involved in
various sexual acts with a yet to be identified under age female.
Kelly has said in interviews that the tapes were
fraudulent and that he was not the man in the video tape, despite expert analysis
apparently pointing to the contrary. The tapes have been sold on the Internet
and on street corners nationwide. Kelly has been the subject of numerous boycotts
across the United States, Protests have erupted nation wide over the controversy.
Protesters in Chicago recently told top radio station WGCI to stop playing Kelly's
music until he issued an explanation. Kelly phoned in to the station and claimed
that he was a victim of his own fame, saying ""When you're famous,
they expect you to work miracles, and I'm not God.""
In Philly, a gay and lesbian group known as Racial
Unity is picketed Sam Goody record stores to prevent the chain from selling
any R. Kelly music. In Milwaukee, police arrested DJ Homer Blow of WNOV-AM for
hosting a nightclub showing of the video tape. Blow was also fired from WNOV
for his antics.
Even Def Jam stepped back from R. Kelly, released
a collaboration, Best Of Both Worlds, with one of their top selling acts, Jay-Z.
Def Jam canceled all promotions surrounding the album. After having $100,000
press day at New York's Waldorf Astoria that attracted Russell Simmons, Johnnie
Cochran and Puff Daddy to name a few, the plug has been pulled to avoid any
negativity being placed on one of Def Jam's top artists. "We don't want
any negative associations that might come with a video, any accusations or anything,"
Def Jam president Kevin Liles told Time magazine in a recent issue. Jay-Z will
not appear with Kelly in any pictures either and recently had his removed from
the Vibe magazine which feature R. Kelly on the cover.