R Kelly’s sisters have spoken out in defence of their brother following his recent prison sentence.
In June, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison, following his conviction last year on charges of sex trafficking and racketeering.
The R&B singer (real name Robert Sylvester Kelly) stood trial last summer for racketeering, bribery and violating the Mann Act, which criminalises the transportation of any woman or girl across state lines for “immoral” purposes, such as illegal sexual activity. He was found guilty on nine accounts.
Now, the sisters of the musician, Cassandra, Theresa and Lisa Kelly, have spoken out in his defence on Good Morning Britain and alleged that race played a part in his conviction.
“African Americans have always been treated unfairly,” Cassandra told the programme. “So I think that, that has a lot to do with it as well as other factors.”
Lisa Kelly went on in the interview to claim her brother had never been with an underage girl. “I can say he may have been with younger women but as far as underage girls, no,” she said. “And I stress girls—underage girls, who has seen that?”
She continued: “I’m not gonna acknowledge something that I don’t have the proof of. If there is a victim, I’ll acknowledge. But from what I’ve seen in court and from what I’ve studied and from what I’ve read the only victim I see that’s been stolen from, lied on is Robert. No one is talking about the money that was being extorted from Robert. No one is talking about what was stolen from him…he’s not a monster, he’s not a pedophile, he was just taken advantage of.”
In court last month, Kelly faced seven of his accusers who gave victim impact statements.
Gloria Allred, who represented the three women who testified against Kelly, told reporters that “no one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims”.
One of the victims said of Kelly: “With every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness, cockiness, diminishing any form of humanity or self-awareness, which soon became the breeding ground for your God-like complex.
“You were doing, saying and encouraging despicable things that no one should be doing. We reclaim our names from beneath the shadows of your afflicted trauma. We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”
Another added: “What you did has left a permanent stain of my life I’ll never be able to wash away. Now it’s your turn, to have your freedom taken from you.”