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Over the course of his career, R. Kelly has been sued for having sexual relations with underage girls, was illegally married to 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, and was indicted on multiple counts of child pornography. Now, the 49-year-old artist is dating a 19-year-old, and the collective voice of the internet went “Ew, not again.”
R. Kelly was reportedly spotted with his new girlfriend in Atlanta this weekend, and yes, she’s above the age of consent, but it doesn’t do anything to help his reputation as a sexual predator. Either way, Twitter is having a fun time dragging him.
When R. Kelly’s albums are older than his girlfriend.
— Steven Nguyen ⚓️ (@St3v3nz) August 8, 2016
R. Kelly is trending for exactly the reason you would expect
— Christina Warren (@film_girl) August 8, 2016
R. Kelly wrote “Age Aint nothing but a Number” for Aaliyah when she was 15. That should tell you everything you need to know
— Adrien Boner (@Notufatjesus_) August 8, 2016
A few people are bringing into question what an “appropriate” age gap would be, and that Kelly has never been convicted of statutory rape or child pornography. But the American justice system is flawed, and stripped of any legal power, Twitter roasting is all we have.
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'