A Timeline of Events: R. Kelly Sexual Abuse Allegations

A timeline of R. Kelly’s history of sexual assault allegations

In February 2019, R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Chicago, but this isn’t the first time he has faced accusations of sexual misconduct.

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For decades, the singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been at the center of several sexual assault allegations, all of which he has denied.

Here’s a timeline of R. Kelly’s history of alleged sexual abuse against women and incidents that have raised eyebrows:

January 1992

Kelly, 25 at the time, released his debut solo album “Born Into The 90’s.” It included the singles “Honey Love” and “She's Got That Vibe.” The latter included a line that said, “Little cute Aaliyah's got it.” Singer Aaliyah was 12 at the time.

R. Kelly performs during The Buffet Tour at Allstate Arena on May 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

November 1993

Kelly released his solo album “12 Play.” It included several hits which contained sexualized lyrics.

August 1994 

At age 27, Kelly reportedly married 15-year-old Aaliyah using a falsified marriage certificate, which listed her age as 18.

The marriage was later annulled the following year.

>> Related: R. Kelly fails to come up with $100K bond, spends night in jail 

1996

Kelly married dancer and choreographer Andrea Lee. The couple had three children throughout their marriage.

December 1996 

Tiffany Hawkins, an aspiring singer, sued Kelly, alleging they had a sexual relationship when she was 15.

The case was reportedly later settled out of court and Hawkins signed a confidentiality agreement.

December 2000

The Chicago Sun-Times published its first report about allegations of Kelly having sexual relationships with minors.

The report said Chicago police investigated allegations twice that Kelly was sexually involved with an underage girl. However, they dropped the investigations, because the girl would not cooperate.

August 2001

Tracy Sampson, an aspiring rapper and former intern at Epic Records, filed a lawsuit against Kelly. She said he initiated a sexual relationship with her when she was 17.

The case was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

>> Related: ‘Let these girls go': Alleged victim's family begs R. Kelly to stop reported abuse against women

February 2002 

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Kelly was under investigation by police after a sex tape of him allegedly showing Kelly with an underage girl was sent anonymously.

March 2002

Bootleg copies of the “R. Kelly sex tape” anonymously sent to the Chicago Sun-Times in February 2002 began to circulate online and were being sold.

April 2002

Patrice Jones sued Kelly. She alleged she was 16 when she began a sexual relationship with the singer and that he pressured her into terminating a pregnancy that resulted from their relationship.

The case was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

May 2002

Montina Woods, a dancer, sued Kelly, alleging the singer secretly taped their sexual encounter. Woods, 33 at the time, also said the tape was being sold.

The case was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

>> Related: Who is R. Kelly? 7 things to know 

June 2002

Kelly was arrested and indicted on 21 counts of child pornography charges. He was arrested at his Florida vacation home, and released on $750,000 bail.

September 2005

Kelly's wife reportedly filed for an order of protection. She reportedly told a judge Kelly became angry and hit her when she told him she wanted a divorce.

The couple rekindled their relationship, and she rescinded the protection order weeks later.

May 2008

After a six-year delay, jury selection began in the child pornography trial against Kelly. The case was reduced to 14 charges.

June 2008

Kelly was found not guilty on all counts.

January 2009

Kelly and his wife finalized their divorce.

December 2015

Kelly walked out of an interview with HuffPost Live when host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani asked him about past sexual abuse allegations.

July 2017

BuzzFeed published a story titled “Inside The Pied Piper of R&B’s ‘Cult.’” The report said the singer “held women against their will in a cult” at his homes in two cities, including one in metro Atlanta.

What You Need to Know: "Surviving R. Kelly" Allegations

July 2017

The social media campaign #MuteRKelly, which seeks to stop his music from being played and cancel his concerts, launched. 

>> Related: Aaliyah's mother shuts down claims in Lifetime's 'Surviving R. Kelly' docuseries

August 2017

Jerhonda Pace violated a nondisclosure agreement and opened up to BuzzFeed News about living with Kelly in 2009 when she was 15 years old.

She said she was a fan of the singer and went to the courthouse daily in 2008 during Kelly’s trial.

She said she began a sexual relationship with Kelly when she was 16. 

May 2018

Spotify removed R. Kelly's music from its playlists. The changes were enacted under the terms of Spotify’s new public hate content and hateful conduct, which states that the brand does “not tolerate hate content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence.”

May 2018

Faith Rodgers filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing him of sexual battery. During their relationship, the then-19-year-old said he "mentally, sexually and verbally" abused her. She also alleged he knowingly infected her with herpes and locked her in rooms for punishment.

July 2018

Kelly responded to the multiple rumors of sexual misconduct by a releasing a 19-minute song titled “I Admit.”

Kelly proclaimed his innocence and explained he was sexually abused as a child.

December 2018

Moviegoers evacuated a New York screening of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” after anonymous callers reportedly phoned in threats. 

After investigating, the New York Police Department determined the threats were not credible.

January 2019

Lifetime aired “Surviving R. Kelly,”  a six-part, three-night series that documented the songwriter’s lengthy history of alleged abuse against women.

In addition to stories of alleged abuse from accusers, the film featured appearances from celebrities and family members, such as singer John Legend, talk show host Wendy Williams, Me Too founder Tarana Burke and R. Kelly’s brothers. Overall, the project included more than 50 interviews.

January 2019

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office announced it  opened an investigation into allegations of Kelly’s physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women.

>> Related: R. Kelly's ex-wife details years of alleged abuse

January 2019

Protesters rallied outside of Kelly’s Chicago studio to amplify the #MuteRKelly movement.

January 2019

Illinois officials rejected a grant for a Spring Jam concert hosted by Kelly. The application was denied due to security concerns following protests outside Kelly’s Chicago studio.

January 2019

RCA/Sony, Kelly’s record label, dissolved its working relationship with the singer.

February 2019

A never-before-seen sex tape was turned in to Chicago investigators that appeared to show R. Kelly sexaully involved with a teenage girl. The tape was sent in anonymously. 

R&B singer R. Kelly arrives at the 1st District-Central police station on February 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced that Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of four victims, at least three between the ages of 13 and 17.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

February 2019

Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx unveiled a grand jury indictment against him that involves four victims, three of them minors at the time of the alleged crimes.

Kelly surrendered to police and remains in custody following the bail hearing, where the judge set his bail at $1 million.

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