R Kelly has faced sexual abuse claims for decades

R Kelly: Singer charged with sexual offences in Chicago”:

R Kelly has faced sexual abuse claims for decades

Singer R Kelly has been charged on Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, some involving underage victims, US media report.

The R&B star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has faced claims of sexual abuse against women and teenage girls for decades.

He has never been convicted and has previously denied all the allegations.

The 52-year-old is expected in court in Chicago, where he lives, on 8 March.

According to US media who have seen court records, there are four alleged victims, who were aged 13 to 16 at the time of their reported assaults.

Kelly’s lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times he had not yet been notified of the charges against his client on Friday but said R Kelly denied any wrongdoing.

Last week, lawyer Michael Avenatti said that his office had uncovered previously unreleased footage of Kelly having sex with a young girl, which was then handed to the Cook County State Attorney, whose jurisdiction includes Chicago.

There have been calls in recent months to boycott Kelly’s music both recordings and performances – with negative messages posted on social media using the hashtag #MuteRKelly.

Demonstrators gather near the studio of singer R Kelly to call for a boycott of his music after allegations of sexual abuse against young girls were raised on the highly-rated Lifetime mini-series Surviving R Kelly, in Chicago, Illinois, 9 January 2019
People have been calling for a boycott on Kelly’s music with the hashtag #MuteRKelly

Kelly, best known for hit song I Believe I Can Fly, has faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, making indecent images of children and other offences.

The singer is the subject of the documentary Surviving R Kelly, which premiered in New York in December and featured women who accuse him of sexual and physical abuse.

In 2017, Kelly denied allegations that he was holding a number of young women captive in a so-called “abusive cult”.