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R. Kelly: Every Scandal and Controversy From Aaliyah to Joycelyn and Azriel

Just about every year since 1991, R. Kelly has been accused of participating in sexual misconduct or fighting allegations of the sort. After more than 30 years of defending his innocence, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was convicted on charges of federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in 2021 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June 2022. Less than one year later, he was sentenced to an additional 20 years in prison in February 2023, after being found guilty of child pornography charges, In Touch confirmed. 

With the January 2019 release of Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime, fans got an up-close look at the dark side of the disgraced R&B singer — a side ex-girlfriend Azriel Clary claimed to know all too well. 

The aspiring artist met Kelly when she was only 17 years old, and says they quickly started to have a sexual relationship. “Someone from his entourage came and gave me Robert’s number on a sheet of paper. And that was the start of everything,” she alleged in a January 2020 interview with The Sun

After finding the courage to leave the performer, Clary alleged she was repeatedly abused by  Kelly. “He beat me all over. Which felt like hours. And I was [hit] all the way from my neck down,” she said, adding, “He makes everyone do very degrading stuff.”

She continued to allege that Kelly would force his victims to be filmed and write about doing abusive acts to use as incriminating evidence against them. Clary also claimed he would have them write false allegations – like child molestation by family members – to threaten them by hurting the ones they loved.  

“I think a lot of women are ashamed or embarrassed to come out because of stuff like that,” she revealed. “Because it will be incriminating them.” 

Additionally, Clary claimed the singer was extremely controlling of his live-in girlfriends. “You could not do anything without him knowing,” she alleged to the outlet. “You have to ask him if you could go to the restroom, you would have to knock anytime you entered it or left a room.”

She continued, “He controlled you to what you wore. Anything that was tight, hugging, revealing, was not allowed. You had to wear very loose clothing. The fact that I looked so young, I had to wear hats every time I left to go out.”

The final episodes of Lifetime’s docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly: The Final Chapter, premiered on the network on January 2 and January 3, 2023. The third installment of the series focused on the survivors and their families as they prepared to testify in court against the artist in 2021.

“As we continued to stay in touch with our survivors, we started to hear about the pressure and the toll of preparing for this trial and gathering the courage to take the stand,” executive producer Jesse Daniels told Variety in January 2023. “We realize it’s hard enough for a survivor to tell their story in front of the camera, but to do so again while facing your abuser and his legal team is absolutely terrifying and incredibly brave. We really realized that we had a whole new story to tell here.”

Scroll below to see the full timeline of Kelly’s sexual misconduct allegations.

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