R. Kelly Team Disavows 'Heartbroken' Statement About Latest Sexual Abuse Allegations
R. Kelly’s management says a statement sent out on his behalf wasn’t authorized by his team.
An early Friday morning (May 4) email sent by Katie Thompson on behalf of R. Kelly Tours claimed the media was trying to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women and said the singer was “heartbroken” over it. However, management disavowed that statement to The Associated Press on Friday.
"The person who released the statement did so without authorization and without talking to the star, and she isn't an employee of R. Kelly management," read a statement from the singer's management team, which notes that the release was "erroneous" and included a statement that was never said by Kelly and which he rejects. "The singer and his manager had no idea of who she was. We have learned she was employed by a professional services firm, and that she has been fired for putting out the unauthorized statement."
There have been numerous reports detailing allegations that Kelly sexually abused women over the years. He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
Earlier this week, the organization Time’s Up joined the social media movement known as #MuteRKelly demanding an investigation into his behavior. It also called on the recording industry to consider severing ties to him.
On Friday, BuzzFeed posted a new exposé from reporter Jim DeRogatis (working with BuzzFeed's Marisa Carroll) in which Lizzette Martinez claimed that a then-28 year-old Kelly began a relationship with her in the winter of 1995 when she was a 17-year-old high school senior after the two met at a shopping mall in Miami. Martinez claims that Kelly, knowing she was underage (the age of consent in Florida is 18), took her virginity and repeatedly pressured her to engage in sexual acts against her will.
The second allegation came from a woman named Michelle (whose last name was withheld to protect her daughter's privacy), a Chicago mother who claimed that her now-27-year-old daughter began a relationship with Kelly when she was 17 (the age of consent in Illinois).
In the now-disavowed statement, Kelly reportedly called himself “a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father,” lashing out at the media, which he said “has dissected and manipulated these false allegations.”