October 24, 2021

R. Kelly Accusers Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Tempo React to Responsible Verdict in Brooklyn

6 min read

After many years of escaping accountability, R. Kelly is a convicted felon. And people who say they endured bodily, psychological, and sexual abuse by the hands of the disgraced R&B star are rejoicing.

“We bought justice at present,” Kitti Jones, a former Dallas radio DJ who gave up her profession to be with Kelly, advised The Every day Beast on Monday after he was discovered responsible of all 9 expenses he confronted in a federal intercourse crimes case in Brooklyn. “I wouldn’t say I now have closure, as a result of ultimately none of us will get our time again. However it is a small victory.”

Kelly, 54, was convicted of charges including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and violations of the Mann Act, which bars the transport of individuals throughout state strains for intercourse.

The “I Consider I Can Fly” singer was a punchline earlier than he was often known as a predator, fodder for a infamous “Chappelle’s Present” skit at the same time as he was credibly accused of horrific sexual violence, typically focusing on youngsters unable to consent. He continued to carry out as a musician for a decade after securing a not-guilty verdict in a 2008 baby porn case in Chicago, regardless of what prosecutors stated was a video of him urinating on and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old.

Within the Brooklyn case, prosecutors didn’t cost Kelly with sexual assault, however slightly proved that he systematically abused girls and women by means of a mafia-style enterprise, and that at the very least 4 of the victims had been minors when he first had sexual contact with them.

A devastating case that featured at the very least 11 accusers—women and men—led the jury made up of seven males and 5 girls to convict him after deliberating for 9 hours. And even when her personal allegations—which Kelly has denied—didn’t issue into the federal trial, Jones took some solace within the former musician’s new identification as a intercourse felony.

“Twelve individuals who had no connection to any of us and doubtless didn’t watch or comply with our tales individually had an open thoughts and listened and took our facet,” Jones, a now-successful creator who has accused Kelly of trapping her in a two-year-long relationship and repeatedly abusing her, advised The Every day Beast.

“I allowed myself just a few hours to get my tears out at present—and now I’m simply celebrating this win. However now we have a protracted strategy to go, this isn’t over,” Jones shelp.

Through the six-week-long trial, jurors heard from 50 witnesses from each the prosecution and the protection in regards to the interior workings of Kelly’s private {and professional} life. Along with testifying about alleged felony conduct, the witnesses—who ranged from former girlfriends to assistants to music executives—detailed Kelly’s nocturnal life-style, an affinity for enjoying basketball in entrance of an viewers, and strict guidelines the singer made his workers and private visitors obey.

Amongst these witnesses was Jerhonda Tempo, who detailed how she was sexually and bodily abused by Kelly when she was 16 years previous. Throughout a six-month relationship that led to Jan. 2010 after the singer violently slapped her and known as her a “foolish bitch” for mendacity, Tempo stated, Kelly additionally gave her herpes and by no means advised her he had a sexually transmitted illness.

“He wished me to place my hair up in pigtails and costume like a woman scout,” Tempo, who was the primary witness to testify, stated. “He recorded us having sexual activity.”

On Monday, Tempo took to Instagram to express her sentiments about Monday’s verdict.

“Verdict? GUILTY,” Tempo, 28, wrote.

One other accuser who took the stand, recognized solely as Sonja, stated in a press release to The Every day Beast that she was “pleased with the decision and grateful that the jury listened to us.”

“I’ve been hiding from Robert Kelly in concern, as a result of threats made towards me, and I’m prepared to start out dwelling my life free from concern, and to start out the therapeutic course of,” Sonja stated.

Jones, for her half, didn’t testify at Kelly’s New York trial, although her allegations mirror these of survivors who took the stand. She first met Kelly in June 2011, when her Dallas radio station organized an after-party for considered one of his live shows. Two weeks after transferring into his Chicago dwelling, Jones stated, Kelly sought to regulate the whole lot about her life—from her alternative of garments to when she was allowed to make use of the toilet.

Throughout their relationship, the previous DJ alleges she was crushed, starved, and compelled to have intercourse with different girls whereas dwelling at Kelly’s Chicago compound, earlier than she lastly left in 2013.

Commending those that took the stand, Jones admitted she did have doubts this previous Friday when she discovered jurors had not reached a verdict after a day of deliberation.

“I bought just a little nervous final week, after I heard that the jurors had been going into the weekend,” she stated. “You don’t know what they had been considering. However simply to know that at present they got here in and didn’t take the whole day, that’s all that issues.”

Gerald Griggs, an legal professional who represents a number of Kelly accusers and their households, advised The Every day Beast he was “comfortable and relieved” that the singer is lastly paying for his crimes. Amongst Griggs’ purchasers are the mother and father of Joycelyn Savage, who nonetheless identifies herself as considered one of Kelly’s girlfriends and was nowhere to be seen throughout the trial. Savage didn’t reply to The Every day Beast’s request for remark.

“Right now was the start of the tip of a really lengthy journey. Since 2017, now we have been working with survivors and households to deliver R. Kelly to justice. Right now, the jury heard the voices of Black girls loud and clear, and it is essential that we middle them at this second,” Griggs advised The Every day Beast, including that the Savages had been additionally “relieved” by the conviction.

“Mr. Kelly’s crimes have now been put entrance and middle, and we’re engaged on the therapeutic course of as we start the opposite trials,” Griggs continued, noting that his purchasers wished to thank the Brooklyn prosecutors and the jury for listening.”

Gloria Allred, a lawyer for a number of of Kelly’s accusers, additionally praised the decision outdoors the Brooklyn federal courthouse on Monday.

“R. Kelly thought that he might get away with all of this, however he didn’t, as a result of although he thought he might management all of his victims, he was mistaken,” Allred stated.

“Due to their braveness and the excellent work of federal brokers and prosecutors on this case, justice has been performed,” Allred added. “Let this be a message to different celebrities who additionally use their fame to prey on their followers and others who’re unlucky sufficient to come back into contact with them: You’re additionally more likely to face critical penalties in your felony conduct.”

Additionally on Monday, survivor advocacy teams highlighted Kelly’s conviction as a significant stepping stone in seeing sexual-assault instances be heard by the system.

“We hope this verdict brings some sense of justice to the courageous survivors who got here ahead,” #MuteRKelly—the group that advocated the R&B singer be held accountable for many years of sexual abuse accusations with a boycott of his music beginning in 2017–stated on Twitter.

A number of extra victims had been additionally anticipated to come back ahead for federal and state instances in Chicago and Minnesota that the singer nonetheless faces.

As for Jones, Monday’s conviction signifies that “everybody can form of get again to their lives—considerably.

“A minimum of for myself, I lastly have some peace of thoughts,” she stated.

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