Sony Music has dissolved its working relationship with R.Kelly after years of public calls for the label to do so.
The movement, called #MuteRKelly, is in response to allegations of sexually abusive behavior by the singer. Those allegations date back at least 20 years, but were brought back into the spotlight earlier this month after the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” The group protested on the step of Sony’s offices Thursday and has a significant social media presence.
Kelly was charged with child pornography in 2000 over sex tapes featuring himself and underage girls, but was cleared eight years later became none of the women involved were willing to testify against the singer. In 1999, he was briefly married to the singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. Kelly has also been recently accused of holding women captive in a “sex cult,” Variety reports.
Kelly’s former manager turned himself in Friday to authorities in Georgia authorities. Henry James Mason is charged with threatening to harm a man who was featured in the Lifetime documentary. The man, Timothy Savage, says Kelly brainwashed his daughter. Mason threatened to Savage via text and over the phone, one of those calls was overheard by a police officer.
As of Friday R.Kelly has been removed from the RCA Records website. The singer tweeted earlier this year that he had a new record on the way.