…we saw Bill Cosby when we were coming up.”
According to the National Sex Offender directory, over 30% of those who are sexually abused have been done so by a family member. Many times that same family was also abused. It can be a vicious cycle.
Licensed counselor and founding editor of the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships (University of Nebraska Press) Dr. James Wadley tells BlackDoctor.org, “In cases of abuse, abandonment, and neglect sometimes people are more likely to accept or negotiate relationships that become re-enactments of the trauma that they endured as children. Dysfunctional relationships seemingly become functional based upon the familiarity of what some people experience during childhood. Some people are unable to successfully handle relational stability because they are or have continued to struggle with being gravely hurt (e.g., physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually) as children.”
When asked about what it takes to break the cycle, Kellz simply says, “Well, it’s really not about breaking it. There’s things that you don’t want to do that you’re not gonna do. It was just as simple as that. I want to be able to be a father to my kids, where I’ve never seen my father, but my kids can see me whenever they want, so that was broken [He and his wife Andrea divorced in 2009]. The poverty part was broken. And I feel the child-molestation part, that definitely was broken. But of course you gonna be misunderstood because you R. Kelly, and the success and things get mixed up in the music, and people take the words you sing in your songs and try to pound that on your head and say, ‘Ahh! You did do it—look what you just wrote over here.’”
“As I’m older, I’ve only learned to forgive it. Was it wrong? Absolutely. But it’s a family member that I love so I would definitely say no to that one. To be honest, even if my mom, I saw her kill somebody, I’m not gonna say, ‘Well, yeah, she definitely should go to jail.’ It’s just something I wouldn’t do.”
When it comes to his past legal battles and rumors about him continuing the abuse with underage girls, he denies it all.
“I think, man, abso-effing-lutely I’ve been treated unfair. Yes. I’m not, you know, this innocent guy with a halo over his head. No, I love women. Do I like to sleep with underage girls? Absolutely not. I’ve said it a million times. But do I have people trying to destroy my career? Absolutely.”
Mayo Clinic describes some signs of abuse as withdrawal from friends and family, which may explain why Kelly admits that he sleeps in his closet at home.
“I sleep well when it’s just pitch-black…. Once I get in that closet I feel like no one in the world has any idea that I am in this closet right now. And that gives me a peace of mind. I leave my phones outside of the closet, and once I get in that closet I feel like no one in the world has any idea that I am in this closet right now. And that gives me a peace of mind, to know that no one knows where I’m at right now. ‘I bet you they can’t find me here.’ So it’s that kind of thought.”
“I’ve got the front door locked, I got the back door locked, I got the room door locked, and I got the closet door locked. I’m in a door in a door in a door in a door, so I feel protected.”
Dr. Wadley sums it up like this, “What we can learn from R. Kelly is that childhood abuse/sexual trauma needs to be discussed because it happens in all of our families. The people, couples, and families who are able to successfully talk about it in a constructive manner are typically able to move beyond the hurt. No child or person should ever have to endure being sexually coerced or manipulated and it is important that they are offered patience, understanding, empathy, and prayers so that they can heal in a meaningful way. Moreover, those who perpetrate these debilitative acts should also receive support as oftentimes, they are only re-enacting what was done to them as children.”
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