R. Kelly’s lawyer says Lady Gaga is exploiting the singer to win an Oscar

Lady Gaga as Ally in A Star Is Born

Singer R. Kelly is continuing to face a reckoning from other celebrities and now his lawyer is getting involved.

This week, singer and actor Lady Gaga issued a statement regarding R. Kelly. In 2013, she recorded a song with the rapper, who is now facing sexual abuse allegations, Do What U Want (With My Body).

Gaga said she will remove the song from streaming platforms and added she made the song and video ‘at a dark time in my life’.

‘I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time,’ her statement continued. She also said she stands by the women accusing Kelly.

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, claimed his client has done nothing wrong and accused Gaga of exploiting him.

Background and exploitation claims

Kelly’s career has been dogged by accusations and scandals for years, beginning with his alleged marriage to then 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994.

In 2017, accusations of abuse came to head when BuzzFeed News published a report about parents accusing Kelly of keeping their daughters in an abusive sex cult.

This month, Lifetime debuted a six-part docuseries titled Surviving R. Kelly detailing the various accusations against the singer.

Fellow singer John Legend appeared in the docuseries and said it wasn’t courageous or ‘risky’ for him to appear.

‘I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision,’ he wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, he said Kelly’s career should be destroyed over this, similar to Harvey Weinstein.

Greenberg is the latest to speak out on the topic.

In a statement issued to Access, he directly responded to Gaga’s statement. He said her statement exploits Kelly in an effort to win an Oscar. Gaga is currently on the awards circuit for her performance and music in the movie A Star Is Born.

Greenberg stated: ‘Mr. Kelly appreciates that she recognized his immense talent and collaborated with him to help her career, but finds it regrettable that she is now exploiting this controversy to try and help her in her effort to win an Oscar.’

In a more general statement, he said people are now exploiting his client ‘for their 15 minutes of TMZ fame’.

More figures and celebrities speak up

Kelly’s estranged daughter, Buku Abi, issued a statement on her Instagram story.

‘I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,’ she said. ‘The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.’

Meanwhile, on Instagram, Cara Delevingne revealed she lost 50,000 followers after speaking out against Kelly.

‘Every time I say something real, something I truly believe, something others may think of as controversial, something that makes people think and ask questions, I lose followers,’ she wrote. ‘The followers I lose clearly don’t agree with what I have to say, people that support the ideas and actions of others who are moving backwards and not forwards.’

She also added she wants to speak up more because ‘silence causes suppression and suppression causes sickness’.

‘In 2019, I want to be more confrontational. Confrontation IS NOT VIOLENCE btw, it’s communication. Goodbye silence and backwards followers, hello confrontation and forward thinkers. It’s going to be a loud year.’

Finally, Christina Aguilera, who recorded a duet with Gaga of Do What U Want, praised Gaga on Instagram.

‘I embrace all survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse holding a special place in my heart, and you @ladygaga, for doing the right thing!’ she wrote.

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Author: Anya Crittenton

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LGBTI activists protesting Allegheny County Jail met with Pittsburgh Police in riot gear

Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, PA

A group of LGBTI activists protesting Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania were met with heavily armed police officers.

What happened?

On Thursday, 25 October dozens of activists gathered outside the jail to protest the poor treatment of transgender inmates, specifically trans women. The protest was organized by the groups SisTers Pgh and BlaQK OPS.

The protestors were met by police in full riot gear. The protestors’ crime? Allegedly blocking traffic. The police issued three warnings to clear the roadway. While the majority of the protestors abided, eleven did not.

According to a Pittsburgh-based LGBTI blog, ten activists detailed, handcuffed, cited, and released. One activist was arrested on multiple counts including failure to provide identification.

Meanwhile, that same evening, the Allegheny District Attorney began an investigation into police misconduct during a brawl with a biker gang in a local bar.

The Allegheny County Jail protest comes as many prisons across the country are under fire for mistreatment of trans inmates.

In their own words

‘Organizers of the action rallied because the County Jail has consistently failed to meet the needs of transgender inmates,’ Sue of PghLesbian Correspondents writes.

‘We reported earlier this year on an unidentified trans woman who reported being assaulted by the man put into her cell when she was supposed to be alone. I was disturbed that there was no way to connect with the survivor to offer support, even through a third-party. I was more disturbed that there is no identified provider of sexual assault services in the Allegheny County Jail – everything else is outsourced, so why not have the Center for Victims or PAAR or someone, anyone offering these supports AND ensuring they are transgender competent. No one seemed to give a damn, certainly not enough to actually do some digging.’

‘Her fate haunts me. She should never have been confined to a cell with a potential predator. She certainly deserved to know that people cared about her. I respect the need to protect her privacy, but clearly a third-party organization can suitably address both.’

Anything else?

The organizers of the Allegheny County Jail protest published their list of seven demands:

1: Adoption and enforcement of a comprehensive policy regarding the interaction and support of transgender and nonbinary individuals in County custody, which will include access to responsive, uninterrupted, and necessary gender-related healthcare, appropriate housing decisions, and required training for all Allegheny County Jail employees who manage and interact with individuals in the jail.

2: Allow SisTers PGH and additional community partners to be direct contacts for transgender and nonbinary people housed within the Allegheny County Jail in order to help ensure their safety through advocacy and support.

3: Bring the Allegheny County Jail into compliance with PREA regulations as set forth in 2012 to in the effort to prevent sexual assault and harassment against transgender and nonbinary individuals.

4: Create special housing units specifically affirming for transgender and nonbinary individuals.

5: Fire Warden Orlando Harper for his blatant anti-LGBTQ actions and cover up of the sexual and physical abuse and torture that happens within the Allegheny County Jail.

6: Provide the public with transparency in the number of complaints filed against the County related to alleged anti-transgender incidents.

7: Permit an independent investigation regarding procedures and incidents concerning transgender individuals behind bars within the Allegheny County Jail.

Author: Rafaella Gunz

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