This morning I read an exceedingly bizarre article based on one journalist’s three interviews conducted around the time of Thanksgiving, with R&B pop sensation R.Kelly. The uniquely lengthy article written by GQ Correspondent Chris Heath, was in efforts to highlight the many unheard of “confessions” regarding R.Kelly’s life. While I clicked on this article because I have always been a fan of the R&B sensations many musical hits and, prior to reading, knew little to nothing about his personal life, I was rather startled by the end of the many pages, some of which I re-read several times.
Interviews between Heath and Kelly were conducted near R.Kelly’s hometown in Chicago. Throughout the interviews Health and Kelly covered a number of topics including Kelly’s impoverished childhood and growing up without a father, his many encounters of with sexual abuse, the struggles he continues to face with the ability to read and write, his deep desire for success rooted in his musical talents, his mother’s death, the many public accusations made of him involving multiple sexual offenses with underage women, and his trial for making child pornography.
At this point, you’re probably thinking the reason for my surprise was due to this endless list of struggles the singer/producer faced. Yet, my reaction was actually due to Kelly’s exceedingly strange responses, quoted numerous times throughout the article. In nearly every topic covered by Heath, Kelly’s connection to reality and the truth of his life appeared questionable.
In one example, while discussing Kelly’s several encounters with sexual abuse by a female relative largely present during his childhood, Health asks Kelly how he feels about the situation now? Kelly’s first response is deeply moving when he states, “I, well, definitely forgive them…” Yet, the response that follows is what was truly disconcerting, given the many accusations he’s faced personally, regarding the sexual abuse of underage women.
With this, Kelly States, “…As I’m older, I look at it and I know that it had to be not just about me and them, but them and somebody older than them when they were younger, and whatever happened to them when they were younger. I looked at it as if there was a sort of like, I don’t know, a generational curse, so to speak, going down through the family. Not just started with her doing that to me.”
Later in the interview, when Heath finally asks Kelly about this seemingly odd response, Kelly responds by saying the generational curse has been broken by him and moves on to compare himself to the currently infamous Bill Cosby, who he explains as the “good dad.”
At this point, Heath expresses a reaction similar to mine. This reaction is the utter confusion for why the singer/producer would choose to compare himself to a man currently buried in accusations of sexual abuse.
In another example Heath asks Kelly several questions regarding his mother’s death. Kelly once again, responds with a deeply moving statement. Yet, his statement does not match up with the events described in his published memoir. When questioned, Kelly blames his editor stating he must have been confused.
Strangely enough, Heath further notes that in a video clip shot several years prior to the memoir’s publishing, Kelly himself describes the events of his mother’s death the same way they’re explained in the memoir. While the journalist decides not to press any further on such a tragic event, he cannot fathom how the star could possibly mistake events so disastrous.
While I don’t intend to question R. Kelly’s life events on a singular basis, I find that through his responses, his connection with the truth is altogether dubious. I find it hard to believe that one would skew and/or forget events so personal and far in the past.
Unless, of course, there was an impending desire to convince themselves otherwise. A desire I can’t imagine could stem from anywhere else besides utter darkness and an overwhelming sense of guilt.
To read the full article written by GQ Correspondent Chris Heath, click the link below.