Written by Laura Chen, for CNN
More than a dozen women who endured abuse at the hands of R. Kelly have previously written letters to the singer in his defense.
They had asked him to stop their abuse, and encouraged his fans to stop sharing racist videos that they said painted him as a sexual deviant.
Today, those letters are collated in a new memoir, “Surviving R. Kelly: A Trauma in Four Chapters,” by Buzz Bissinger.
“I don’t think it’s a stunt,” said a former, anonymous motivational speaker for Kelly. “The assumption out there is, ‘They’re trying to raise money.’ It doesn’t help, but at the same time, there are a lot of people who hate him that don’t believe in the system. That’s where the motivation comes from.”
‘A group of co-conspirators’: Mary Meeker, venture capitalist
In other words, these women are doing what they think is right for themselves and their families.
But this group is faced with one of the most extreme criminal conspiracy cases in recent American history.
Following a 13-month investigation by Chicago police, prosecutors recently indicted the singer on 21 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. These alleged victims span a three-decade span, and vary in their ages, backgrounds and relationships with Kelly.
Throughout the harrowing book, Bissinger recounts the desperate comments made by Kelly’s accusers, a soft, intense voice from a person inside the room heard from time to time, and the accounts of a parade of experts who ask why R. Kelly allegedly took advantage of their troubled youth.
‘You would put him in jail’
Most disturbing for Bissinger is how these women found out the truth. A friend of a friend of one of Kelly’s alleged victims in 1997 informed her of an alleged affair that was kept secret by the singer and his entourage.
An attorney later told the friend that the songs recorded with Kelly and some of the tapes her friend knew of would “lead to the top.”
“What my attorney said didn’t matter because I can’t prove that he is a child molester,” the girl’s friend said, according to the book. “But I can’t prove he is not a child molester.”
Numerous times during his trial, Kelly denied the allegations, and said that the women who were accusing him were trying to extort him and convince him to buy them women.
“Everybody knows him, knows him. They just don’t realize he’s a predator,” one unnamed alleged victim told Bissinger. “If people knew the whole story behind him, they would put him in jail. They’re all so dumb that they don’t know what they’re getting into.
“They were already mad, and now they made it worse.
“Every day he made it worse.”