There is still more to be said about R. Kelly. In the wake of the six-part Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which investigated decades of sexual assault allegations against the iconic R&B singer (all of which he has strenuously denied), Abrams Books will be publishing an investigative book about R. Kelly by music reporter and critic Jim DeRogatis, set for release this summer.
Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly will be written by the first (and for a long time, the only) man to report on allegations against Kelly. Back in 2000, DeRogatis was working as the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in Kelly’s hometown when he got an anonymous fax message saying that Kelly had a “problem” with young girls. DeRogatis followed up the tip by looking into lawsuits that had been filed against Kelly, knocking on doors, and talking to families of Kelly’s alleged victims. Then DeRogatis received another anonymous tip, this time in the form of a videotape — one that would become infamous, and eventually form the basis of Kelly’s child pornography trial.
“There really isn’t anyone more qualified to write about the saga of R. Kelly than Jim DeRogatis. Jim has done the work. He’s built the relationships. He’s cared about the outcome for almost two decades,” #MeToo founder Tarana Burke said in a statement.
Even after Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges (which he always denied) in 2008, DeRogatis has stayed on the beat as more allegations have come up over the years. In 2017, he reported in BuzzFeed News that Kelly was holding women against their will in a “cult,” charges that the singer denied. DeRogatis says he isn’t done reporting yet — in addition to telling the complete story of the charges against Kelly and DeRogatis’ decades-long reporting on them, the book is also set to feature new in-depth interviews with people who haven’t spoken on the record before.
“My book is about R. Kelly by necessity,” DeRogatis recently told the New York Times. “But it’s really about the girls. It was always about the girls.”
Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly is set to be published on June 4, 2019, by Abrams Books.