Hollywood actress, Lupita Nyong’o has also joined the Time’s Up Campaign against popular R&B singer R.Kelly who has been accused several times of abusing underage girls sexually.
The ‘Black Panther’ star has thrown her weight behind ‘Time’s Up’ campaign that led to a similar push against comedian Bill Cosby over sexual assaults allegations against him.
The ‘Time’s Up’ started the campaign against R Kelly with a call for fresh investigation on the musician’s past accusations of sexual and physical abuse on young girls.
Lupita Nyong’o wrote:
we demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse’.
So far, R Kelly has successfully defended himself against the allegations even as the list of women accusing him of sexual harassment keeps growing.
The musician has welcomed the ‘Time’s Up’ campaign against him, through his spokesperson Khabrill Barnard, but termed the move as unjust and off target.
And since the kick off of the campaign, some women have been coming out to accuse the embattled singer of abusing them while they were teenages. One of them was his ex-girlfriend whom he started dating while she was just 17 years.
Lizzette Martinez, now in her 40s, says she was 17 when she met Kelly in 1995. The singer was then 28, and Martinez says that despite knowing she was underage (the age of consent in Florida is 18.
R. Kelly took her virginity. The two continued dating for four years, during which time Kelly “[hit] her on five occasions and [pressured] her to engage in sexual acts against her will,” writes the news outlet.
The two began a relationship just a year after Kelly married R&B singer Aaliyah. She was 15 at the time. In fact, Kelly’s former protégée was brought up early on in Martinez’s interactions with the singer.
She recalled one dinner with her and Kelly; her best friend, Michelle Powery; and Kelly’s then-manager, Barry Hankerson. Hankerson is also Aaliyah’s uncle.
“Barry kept looking at me — it’s like he felt bad, you know, like he wanted to help me,” Martinez recalls. During dinner at Outback, Powery asked Kelly about Aaliyah. “I almost died, but she asked him, ‘Didn’t you marry her?’” Martinez says. “And Barry was sitting there, and it was just, like, dead silence.” Neither girl knew Hankerson was Aaliyah’s uncle at the time.
“No one said anything,” Martinez says, until Kelly finally replied, “You can’t believe everything you read.”
Martinez says that Kelly took advantage of her teenage aspirations to make it big as a singer:
The next day, Martinez says she met Kelly at Hit Factory Criteria recording studio in Miami, where he was working on the R. Kelly album. “I sang for him, and he played the piano, and he said he wanted to help me and develop me and write songs, and I was really excited about it, you know. I was like, ‘Wow, finally, my chance.’”
Martinez got out of the relationship in 1999.
A second woman Michelle, whose battle with Kelly is ongoing.
Michelle claims that her daughter, referred to as “N.” began a relationship with Kelly when N. was 17 years old—the age of consent in Illinois. In 2014, after working as R. Kelly’s personal assistant, the then-22-year-old N. told her mother that she was moving to Atlanta with the singer.
Since the move, Michelle has seen or heard little from her daughter.
Her daughter is 27 now, and Michelle says that Kelly has prevented her daughter from coming home, or even speaking to her, for years.