A timeline of the case against R. Kelly
But the accusations of abuse, manipulation and inappropriate encounters with girls and young women have been around — and vehemently denied — by Kelly for decades.
Kelly’s debut album, “Born into the 90’s,” is released a year after he signs a deal with Jive Records. It features his group Public Announcement and includes hit singles “Honey Love,” “Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)” and “She’s Got That Vibe.” Fans will later note that one of the lyrics on the latter says, “Little cute Aaliyah’s got it.”
Kelly releases his solo album “12 Play.” Songs such as “Bump n’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’ ” firmly cement his image as an artist specializing in sexual lyrics.
August 1994: Kelly and Aaliyah
The 27-year-old singer reportedly marries his 15-year-old protégé, Aaliyah Haughton. Kelly is the lead songwriter and producer on her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.”
Vibe magazine later publishes a copy of what they report is the couple’s marriage license, listing Haughton’s age as 18.
Haughton is killed in a plane crash in August 2001.
1996: Kelly gets married
Kelly marries dancer/choreographer Andrea Lee in a private ceremony.
December 1996: Legal troubles begin
Tiffany Hawkins files suit against Kelly as well as his record, publishing and management companies, claiming personal injuries and emotional damage arising from an alleged sexual relationship with Kelly, which she says began when she was 15 and ended when she was 18.
That case is reportedly settled out of court.
Around the same time, Kelly’s gospel-tinged single “I Believe I Can Fly” is included in the film “Space Jam,” starring Michael Jordan. The song becomes one of the singer’s biggest hits.
December 2000: Making headlines
The article outlines the Hawkins suit as well as Kelly’s marriage to Haughton.
According to the story, Chicago police had twice investigated allegations that Kelly was having sex with an underage girl but dropped the investigations because the girl would not cooperate.
A representative for Kelly declines to comment.
January 2001: A tape emerges
Derogatis anonymously receives a videotape that appears to show Kelly having sex with a young woman, he later reports in the Sun-Times.
Out of concern that the person on the tape may be underage, it is turned over to Chicago police.
August 2001: More legal troubles
Tracy Sampson, an aspiring rapper and former intern at Epic Records, files a lawsuit against Kelly, claiming he initiated a sexual relationship with her when she was 17.
The case is settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
February 2002: Allegations denied
“The girl in the video, now 17, was identified by her aunt, who said that her niece would have been 14 at the time the tape was made, based on her appearance,” the paper reported. “Kelly can also be heard on the tape referring to the girl by her first name.”
Kelly denies the allegations.
“It’s not true. All I know is this: I have a few people in the past that I’ve fired … people that I’ve thought were my friends that’s not my friends,” he tells WMAQ Channel 5 at the time. “It’s crap, and that’s how we’re going to treat it.”
March 2002: Tape copied and sold
April 2002: Case settled out of court
The singer is sued by Patrice Jones, who alleges she was 16 when she began a sexual relationship with Kelly.
She also accuses Kelly of pressuring her into terminating a pregnancy that resulted from their alleged encounters.
The case is settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
May 2002: Another case settled out of court
June 2002: Kelly indicted
The singer is arrested at his Florida vacation home.
Kelly maintains his innocence and is released on bail.
September 2005: Marital strain
Kelly’s wife files for an order of protection. The pair later reconcile, and she rescinds the order.
May 2007: Kelly defended by his wife
“What doesn’t break you makes you stronger, and I’m living proof,” she says. “I know the allegations against my husband don’t reflect on me as an individual. They don’t reflect on me as a mom or as a wife, and they don’t reflect on me in my everyday life.”
May 2008: Jury selection
After years of delays, jury selection finally begins for the child pornography trial against Kelly, which was reduced to 14 charges.
June 2008: Kelly acquitted
Kelly is found not guilty on all counts after the jury deliberates for a day.
January 2009: Kelly divorces
Kelly and his wife finalize their divorce.
July 2014: Protests
The star’s planned performance at the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, is canceled after protests.
“The people of Columbus didn’t feel that R. Kelly’s reputation was reflective of their community, and took to social media to adamantly express their opinions,” the festival’s communications director, Melissa Dickson, says in a statement. “FMMF heard their concerns and took action.”
December 2015: Kelly walks out of interview
July 2017: BuzzFeed story
BuzzFeed publishes an explosive article outlining allegations that Kelly is holding a group of adult women against their will as part of what some of their parents say is a “cult.”
A group of people cited in the article allege their daughters, ages 18 to 31, are a part of an entourage of at least six women attached to Kelly.
Oronike Odeleye starts a petition to get Kelly’s music off the airwaves in Atlanta, which catches the eye of activist Kenyette Barnes and the hashtag #MuteRKelly is born.
August 2017: New allegations
Kelly denies the allegation.
October 2017: More allegations
April 2018: More protests against Kelly
May 2018: New legal troubles
According to the suit obtained by CNN, Faith Rodgers says she was 19 when she first met the singer.
July 2018: Kelly responds in song
December 2018: Screening shut down over threats
January 2019: ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ debuts
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, tells CNN that his client “has done nothing wrong.”
“Someone with an agenda has done a hit piece,” Greenberg says of the docuseries. “(Kelly’s) out in public. He’s not hiding. There’s no secret compound with sex slaves.”
February 2019: Kelly indicted on new charges
March 2019: Kelly interviewed
May 2019: More Cook County charges
July 2019: Federal indictments
August 2019: Prostitution charges and a not guilty plea
According to the complaint, the singer gave a then 17-year-old girl his autograph and a phone number.
After calling, she was then allegedly directed to his hotel in Minneapolis.
Kelly allegedly then gave the teen $200 to dance for him and undress, the complaint stated.
September 2019: Illinois trial date set
Authorities announced Kelly’s trial date on 13 federal charges in Illinois has been set for April 27, 2020.
Kelly remained in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, took to Twitter to dispute that his client failed to appear, saying “I was not served with any notice of court proceedings, nor was he. I did not resist his appearance, nor did he.”
October 2019: Missed federal court hearing
Greenberg said his client was in a walking boot after having his toenail removed and didn’t want anyone to step on his foot.
December 2019: New charge and not guilty plea
The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported the Jane Doe was singer Aaliyah, who was 15 years old when Kelly married later that year.
She died in 2001 at the age of 22 in a plane crash.
January 2020: Season 2 of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’
Lifetime begins airing “Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.”
The five-episode series features interviews from a variety of perspectives, including more alleged victims, family members, supporters, psychologists and cultural and legal experts.
March 13, 2020
August 28, 2020
September 8, 2020
June 9, 2021
June 23, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 18, 2021
CNN’s Sonia Moghe, Kendall Trammell, Brad Parks, Steve Almasy, Lauren del Valle, Doug Criss, Darran Simon, Omar Jimenez , Dakin Andone, Jennifer Goelz and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.