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R Kelly Verdict Caps Decades Of Abuse

R Kelly verdict caps decades of abuse that predominantly targeted Black women and children

R Kelly’s conviction on racketeering and sex trafficking charges came after a trial that shocked the US and opened the eyes of a nation to claims of shocking, decades-long abuse that predominantly targeted Black women and children.

Jurors in a New York federal court heard from multiple witnesses over the weeks-long trial, with a theme of Kelly using his fame and power to subject his victims to sexual and physical abuse.

The conviction came two years after long-rumored accusations against Kelly sprang into public view through the documentary Surviving R Kelly, in which one Black commentator said Kelly was able to get away with his criminal behavior in part because of the race of his victims.

Kelly was convicted of racketeering charges for abusing women, girls and boys for more than two decades. He was also convicted of multiple violations of the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose”.

Witnesses testified during the trial that Kelly had subjected them to perverse and sadistic behavior when they were underage, including beatings and a consistent track record of extreme controlling behavior.

Kelly “believed the music, the fame and the celebrity meant he could do whatever he wanted”, said Nadia Shihata, assistant US attorney, in her closing argument in the Brooklyn courtroom.

But, she added: “He’s not a genius, he’s a criminal. A predator.”

Rebutting claims from Kelly’s lawyers, Shihata said Kelly’s victims “aren’t groupies or gold diggers. They’re human beings.”

The 12-person jury heard from prosecutors that Kelly had used tactics from “the predator playbook” to sexually exploit his victims.

The tactics included isolating them in hotel rooms or his recording studio; subjecting them to degrading rules, such as making them call him “Daddy”; and shooting video recordings, some seen by the jury at trial, of them having sex with him and others as a means to control them.

One witness said Kelly had forced her to film degrading videos as punishment for perceived wrongdoings. In one video she was told to smear feces on her face and “put it in my mouth and act like I liked, enjoyed that”.

She said after performing the act Kelly had said she “wasn’t into it enough” and threatened to make her “redo it”.

Another witness echoed the claims, while the jury also heard how Kelly had beaten one woman, who was 17 years old when she began a sexual relationship with the singer, with a shoe.

A former tour manager for Kelly testified during the trial how he had bribed a government worker on Kelly’s behalf, to get the singer Aaliyah a fake ID so that Kelly could marry her when she was just 15 years old.

R Kelly, in this courtroom sketch, sits with his attorneys Nicole Blank Becker and Thomas Farinella during the trial in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors said Kelly wanted to use the marriage, which was later annulled, to shield himself from criminal charges related to having sex with a minor, and to prevent her testifying against him. A witness said she had seen Kelly sexually abusing Aaliyah around 1993, when Aaliyah was 13 or 14.

Kelly was arrested in Chicago in July 2019 by federal investigators and NYPD detectives, and was held in the city’s Metropolitan correctional center for two years before being transferred to a New York jail for his trial.

He was repeatedly denied bail, with a judge in April 2020 saying Kelly had the potential to be a flight risk, and to intimidate or otherwise interfere with witnesses in his case.

The New York trial may be over, but Kelly faces more court appearances. Federal prosecutors charged Kelly in July 2019 with child abuse image and obstruction charges, with that trial delayed due to the pandemic and to allow the New York case to proceed.

In February of the same year the Cook county, Illinois, state attorney indicted Kelly on aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges involving four victims, three of whom were underage at the time.

Kelly was also charged in Minnesota in August 2019 with engaging in prostitution with a minor. Prosecutors said the case would be delayed until the Chicago charges were settled.

Entertainment

Yul Edochie’s daughter removes father’s name from social media profile

Nollywood actor Yul Edochie’s daughter, Danielle, has made a change to her social media profile, removing her father’s name.

Previously known as Danielle Yul Edochie, she has now updated her profile to read Danielle Diana Dubem.

A quick check on Danielle’s Instagram page confirmed the change.

The decision garnered praise from many, applauding Danielle for her courage.

Sandypreneur commented, “If na you nko? Do you know what it means to watch your parent embarrass you daily? Smh.”

Mr. Azeez commended her bold move, stating,  “SHE JUST TOOK A BOLD STEP TO DISOWN HER DAD! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”

Phelle shared her own experience, highlighting the emotional toll such actions can have on children, particularly daughters.
“Men do not know the damages this things do to their kids mostly on their daughters. This same act of yul my dad did. Till today I. Ve trust issues with men . It’s externally damaging to daughter . Tomorrow them go come beg and expect you to forgive and forget the past that they hurt . Mine even asked me what abomination did I commit ? . Like this man is a joke . You threw away your family for decades over a strange woman. Then turn around when you think you can benefit from us to be asking me what abomination did u commit? Haaaa ! Men! I have trust issues on them “

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Entertainment

Burna Boy slams Eedris Abdulkareem

Grammy-winning singer, Damini Ogulu, widely known as Burna Boy has fired back at Eedris Abdulkareem over his recent statement about him.

Burna Boy had made a statement in 2020, where he garnered attention by asserting that none of his senior colleagues had paved the way for his success.

Eedris Abdulkareem, in a snippet of an unreleased episode of the Honest Bunch podcast, addressed the controversial statement.

The veteran artist condemned Burna Boy’s comments as “stupid talk,” expressing disbelief at the notion that the Nigerian music industry had not provided any assistance to the acclaimed singer

You hear someone like Burna Boy say nobody helped him in Nigeria. That is a stupid talk,” he said.

Responding to Eedris Abdulkareem’s remark, Burna Boy took his X page to hit back at the ace singer.

The 32-year-old said he did not blame Eedris for his comment but the people who donated money to settle his hospital bills when he underwent a kidney transplant in 2022.

He added that he wished his colleague has the audacity to step his foot where he normally hangout so they would settle their scores physically.

“Abdul Kareem abi wetin dem call your papa, I no blame you, I blame people wey pay for your hospital bills. And I wish say you be person wey fit dey enter the kind places where I dey dey. Make we use mistake jam,” he said in a now deleted-tweet.

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Entertainment

Eedris Abdulkareem blasts Burna Boy for saying ‘No one helped’ his career

Nigerian veteran rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem, has taken a swipe at his junior colleague, Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy.

In a clip going viral from ‘The Honest Bunch’ Podcast, Eedris Abdulkareem had quite a lot to say about a range of topics.

In the forthcoming podcast episode slated for release on Monday, February 19, 2024, Eedris Abdulkareem delivered a scathing rebuke aimed at Burna Boy’s assertions.

Some of the people and issues the veteran singer spoke about include Charly Boy, the state of the nation, his rift with American rapper 50 Cent, and Burna Boy, amongst others.

Burna Boy has been very vocal about his solo journey to the top and how he got no help from anyone in the industry.

Burna Boy had made a statement in 2020, where he garnered attention by asserting that none of his senior colleagues had paved the way for his success.

This remarks ignited debate across the industry, with Burna Boy claiming that he received minimal support and faced animosity from peers.

The veteran artist condemned Burna Boy’s comments as “stupid talk,” expressing disbelief at the notion that the Nigerian music industry had not provided any assistance to the acclaimed singer.

Eedris Abdulkareem’s critique showcases the ongoing dialogue surrounding the dynamics of support and mentorship within the Nigerian music scene.

As anticipation mounts for the release of the full podcast episode, fans and industry observers eagerly await further insights into this intriguing exchange between two influential figures in Nigerian music.

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