R. KELLY ALLEGATIONS GETTING MORE ATTENTION AFTER TV SERIES
UNDATED (AP) – (hash)HimToo? Over the years, R. Kelly has been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct involving younger women – and even girls. Still his career has continued, even thrived. But now, a little more than a year since the (hash)MeToo movement took hold, there are signs that Kelly’s personal life will come under more intense scrutiny by the authorities. The catalyst in all of this is a Lifetime TV series, “Escaping R. Kelly,” which aired last week. It has resulted in an Illinois prosecutor’s plea for potential victims and witnesses to come forward. And all of that has sparked renewed hope that R. Kelly might be called to account for his alleged actions – and face criminal charges.
R. KELLY MUSIC STREAMING INCREASES IN WAKE OF SERIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It’s kind of strange – but true: the streaming numbers for R. Kelly’s music have increased since that TV documentary ran last week, reviving the long-standing allegations that the R&B singer has been guilty of sexual misconduct with young women and girls over the years. Nielsen Music says the singer’s streaming numbers grew significantly during and after the series. His music streamed 870,316 times on Jan. 2, the day before the series premiere, but Nielsen reports that Kelly’s music got nearly 1.73 million streams after the sixth episode aired Jan. 6.
LADY GAGA BACKS AWAY FROM R. KELLY
NEW YORK (AP) – It was a video that got a lot of criticism when it was released in 2013. And now Lady Gaga is distancing herself from the duet she did with R. Kelly on “Do What U Want (With My Body). Gaga says she is sorry she did the song – and that the allegations that have resurfaced against Kelly are “absolutely horrifying and indefensible.” What made the pairing odd even back then is that the claims about R. Kelly aren’t new. What’s more, Lady Gaga herself has been a victim of sexual assault – and even the director of the video had been hit with sexual misconduct allegations. Gaga says she agreed to do the song during a “dark time” in her life. But now she says wants the song removed from streaming services.
MICHAEL JACKSON DOCUMENTARY CHALLENGED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – An attorney for two Michael Jackson accusers in an upcoming documentary says their sexual abuse accounts deserve to be heard. Vince Finaldi reps Wade Robson and James Safechuck in lawsuits that claim Jackson molested them. The suits were dismissed – but the attorney says that was due to legal issues, not a lack of credibility of their claims. The Sundance Film Festival plans to show “Leaving Neverland” when it opens in two weeks. Jackson’s estate has denounced the film, saying it’s another attempt ot cash-in on Jackson’s legacy and tarnish the late singer’s reputation.
ASHLEY JUDD – HARVEY WEINSTEIN
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It’s a partial court victory for Harvey Weinstein. A Los Angeles judge has dismissed part of Ashley Judd’s lawsuit against the disgraced Hollywood producer. The judge rejected Judd’s sexual harassment claim against Weinstein. But the judge ruled the rest of the case can proceed to trial.
“TONIGHT SHOW” – PUERTO RICO
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jimmy Fallon is taking “The Tonight Show” to Puerto Rico for a day. The Tuesday broadcast is aimed at showing off artists with ties to the U.S. territory. Fallon will have Jose Feliciano, Bad Bunny and Ozuna, three musicians who are Puerto Rican natives. Previously, Fallon said “Hamilton” co-creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda would be on the special broadcast. The show is meant to highlight Puerto Rican culture – and to show the nation what the territory still needs after it was devastated by a hurricane. The government has pegged restoration efforts at more than $130 billion.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2