Last week, the R&B superstar R. Kelly — one of the most popular musicians of the 1990s and 2000s — was convicted in federal court for his role in an enterprise that recruited women and underage girls for sexual exploitation. He was found guilty on nine counts: racketeering, and eight violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking statute.
For well over two decades, allegations about Kelly’s inappropriate sexual behavior had been sometimes covered in the press, and sometimes discussed by fans. He was even tried, unsuccessfully, on child pornography charges in 2008. But in recent years, new reporting about his coercive behavior and a documentary giving voice to his victims reframed the public narrative around Kelly. Several victims testified against him, as did several people who worked for the star.
On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about the specifics of Kelly’s trial, the meaning of his conviction, and the long — and ongoing — quest for proper recompense for his victims.