John Legend Rips R. Kelly, Says Music Industry 'Looked the Other Way for Too Long' on Singer's Alleged Sexual Misconduct

John Legend blasted the music industry for standing idly by claims of alleged R. Kelly's sexual assault and abuse of women, speculations that have followed the singer throughout his nearly three-decade-long career. Legend ridiculed the industry for turning a blind eye to the years of accusations surrounding the award-winning singer during an appearance on the Today show on Tuesday.

"A lot of us kind of tolerated or looked the other way on that issue for a long time, and a lot of people were hurt for decades," Legend said. "We looked away for too long. These stories have been around for decades."

Rumors about Kelly being a sexual predator as well as a sexual abuser of women and underage girls extend as far back as the 1990s when in 1994 the musician married singer Aaliyah Haughton, who was just 15 at the time. Their marriage was annulled within the same year, but Kelly continued to find himself wrapped up in sexual assault lawsuits—all of which were settled in court—in the years to follow.

Perhaps his most infamous instance of alleged sexual misconduct was his 2008 trial, pertaining to a videotape of the 12 Play singer having sex with and urinating on a girl believed to be 14 at the time of the 2002 recording. Although it took six years for prosecutors to take the trial to court, it only took a jury a matter of hours to render a not guilty verdict.

Now Kelly's alleged sexual assault and abuse of women has taken center stage once again. Surviving R. Kelly, January's unsettling Lifetime documentary series, exposed the 52-year-old's history of alleged sexual, mental and physical abuse of women and young girls. Last week, Kelly was arrested on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Some of the victims referenced in Kelly's charges were between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of alleged incidents.

Kelly was released from Illinois' Cook County jail on Monday after posting a $100,000, just 10 percent of the $1 million bond suggested by a judge on Saturday. Kelly turned himself in to authorities late Friday night. He maintains his innocence and said he was not guilty of all charges against him.

He is expected to appear in court for the charges on March 22.

John Legend Rips R. Kelly, Says Music Industry 'Looked the Other Way for Too Long' on Singer's Alleged Sexual Misconduct | Culture