A state attorney in Illinois is calling on victims of and witnesses to R. Kelly’s alleged abuse to come forward to her or the police so she can formally investigate their claims against the Chicago-born R&B singer.
Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon asking for people in the Chicagoland area who have information to call the prosecutor’s office at 773-674-6492.
“Please come forward. There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without cooperation between victims and witnesses,” she said. “We cannot do this without you.”
Foxx’s call for more information comes days after the finale “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part Lifetime documentary that tells the stories of numerous women who have accused the singer of sexual and emotional abuse.
At the press conference, Foxx called the allegations made in the documentary “deeply, deeply disturbing.”
She also revealed that her office has been in contact with the families of two missing women who may have been in contact with R. Kelly in recent years.
“We’re in the process of trying to get information and conversations going with those who have information,” she told reporters.
Foxx also noted that she was a survivor of sexual abuse and said she was “sickened” by the allegations in the documentary.
“I was sickened as a survivor. I was sickened as a mother. I was sickened as a prosecutor,” Foxx said.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, R. Kelly’s lawyer slammed Foxx for appealing to the public for help.
“The idea that a prosecutor would solicit potential victims like a late-night personal injury attorney is offensive,” Steve Greenberg told the Tribune. “People know if they are a victim of a crime to contact the police. … Nobody has come forward and said they were the victim of any misconduct by Mr. Kelly because nobody has been.”
The scathing Lifetime documentary has renewed public anger over R. Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct. The singer has been accused by multiple women of having sexual relationships with minors and creating child pornography by videotaping some of the encounters. He is also accused of manipulating young women into joining a sex cult.
Some of the singer’s musical collaborators have spoken out against his abuses, including John Legend and Chance The Rapper, who featured R. Kelly in his 2015 song “Somewhere in Paradise.”
Reports surfaced on Tuesday claiming that the Fulton County District Attorney in Georgia had opened a criminal investigation into the accusations made against R. Kelly. However, a spokesman for the DA’s office said he had “no comment” when asked for confirmation by CNN.
In the press conference on Tuesday, Foxx acknowledged how difficult it could be for victims of sexual abuse to come forward, but urged them to do it anyway.
“As a survivor of sexual assault myself, the fear and the trauma of sharing your story … is incredibly daunting,” she said.
“What I will say is that if we are going to take these allegations seriously … we need actual witnesses and victims to have the courage to tell their stories,” Foxx continued. “We cannot do anything related to these allegations without the cooperation of victims and witnesses.”