Longtime R. Kelly detractor Sparkle has spoken out after the singer was finally convicted of charges related to his sex crimes.
The emotional singer expressed her relief during an interview with The Cut.
“It’s just been a long time for me, dealing with this. On the one hand, I think I’m a little sad because Robert was my ex-mentor and what he did was just a punch to my chest. And I’m also relieved. Thank God they got it right this time,” she told the outlet.
Sparkle has been speaking out against R. Kelly, her former mentor, for twenty years. In 2008, she testified during his child pornography trial. The charges stemmed from a video that showed Kelly urinating on her 14-year-old niece during a sexual encounter. He was eventually acquitted. In 2019, she participated in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary.
“At the first trial, nobody believed me. I hope all the girls, boys, and women affected by him are also breathing a sigh of relief,” she continued. “There’s finally some justice, though we have to wait and see what the sentence is. I was the Lone Ranger at first, and now I have my riders behind me.”
Sparkle lost her singing career due to her criticism of R. Kelly. Her relationship with her niece, sister and brother-in-law was also destroyed by the R. Kelly drama. Sparkle still doesn’t speak to her niece, who is now in her 30s with a son. After her brother-in-law died, her sister and niece ignored her at the funeral.
“We’re not in contact, but I’m definitely thinking of her and hoping that she’s okay. Even if she doesn’t feel the same about me. I’m thinking of her first and then of all the others who were affected,” she said of her niece.
Despite the sacrifices, Sparkle doesn’t regret calling R. Kelly out.
I’m happy I did it, because otherwise maybe we wouldn’t be here with this verdict. After the doc aired, more girls got the guts to come forward,” she told The Cut. “Of course, people were posting stuff on my social media saying, ‘You’re a liar. You’re a clout chaser.’ But for the first time, I got nonstop DMs and emails from women saying things like, ‘Oh, I wish you were my auntie. I wish you were there to speak out for me when this or that happened.’”
Kelly was found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering on Monday, as Sis2Sis previously reported. He will be sentenced in May 2022. The “Ignition” singer is also facing child pornography and obstruction charges in Illinois and Minnesota, per The New York Times. A trial date has not been set for the open cases.