Connect with us

Entertainment

R&B singer R. Kelly handed 30-year prison sentence for sex crimes

R. Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison, following the multiplatinum R&B singer’s conviction for exploiting his stardom and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

The sentence was imposed nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes, in a trial that amplified accusations that had dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly” for two decades.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the evidence reflected Kelly’s “indifference to human suffering” and “sheer brutality” toward his victims.

“This case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control,” Donnelly told Kelly. “You left in your wake a trail of broken lives.”

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misbehavior during the #MeToo movement against such conduct by prominent men.

He did not speak during Wednesday’s hearing, but has repeatedly denied sexual abuse accusations.

After the sentence was read, his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told reporters Kelly was “devastated” by the sentence but that he would appeal.

“Thirty years in prison is like a life sentence for him,” Bonjean said.

‘Do you remember that?’

The sentencing came after several accusers, some of whom were tearful, told the judge about how Kelly promised to mentor them and help them attain stardom, only to subject them to degrading sexual treatment and physical harm.

Many said the abuse led to mental health problems that persist.

“As a teenager, I didn’t know how to say no to R. Kelly when he asked me to perform oral sex on him,” said a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 2.

She then paused, looked at Kelly, and asked, “Do you remember that?”

Kelly wore a black face mask and beige prison clothing to his sentencing.

Several accusers testified during the 5-1/2 week trial about how Kelly would demand that his victims strictly obey his rules.

These included needing his permission go to the bathroom, calling him “Daddy,” and writing “apology letters” that purported to absolve Kelly of wrongdoing, among others.

The alleged victims included the singer Aaliyah, who prosecutors said Kelly fraudulently married when she was 15 to conceal earlier abuse. Aaliyah died in 2001.

“This is a significant outcome for all victims of R. Kelly and especially for the survivors who so bravely testified about the horrific and sadistic abuse they endured,” Breon

Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, told reporters after the hearing.

No remorse

He was convicted on nine criminal charges, including one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors had urged a prison sentence of more than 25 years, saying Kelly had demonstrated a “callous disregard” for his victims and shown no remorse.

“I never thought that I would be here to see him be held accountable for the atrocious things that he did to children,” Lizzette Martinez, one of the accusers who spoke in court, told reporters after the hearing.

Defense lawyers said Kelly deserved no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, arguing that his history as an abused child may have led to his adult “hypersexuality,” and that he no longer posed a threat.

Kelly has been in jail since July 2019.

He will likely be transported soon to a jail in Chicago, where he faces an August trial in federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges. He also faces various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell handed 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entertainment

Abraham Ancer completes wire-to-wire win in Saudi Arabia’s golf tournament


Abraham Ancer of Mexico closed with a 2-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Cameron Young in the Saudi International on Sunday.

Ancer capped off a wire-to-wire victory, which featured a majority of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf league. It was his third worldwide victory.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Young, the PGA Tour rookie of the year, received a release to compete in the Asian Tour event. It was his sixth runner-up finish in the last 16 months.

He caught Ancer briefly on the front nine until a two-shot swing on eighth home — Ancer made birdie, Young made a bogey — that restored Ancer's two-shot lead.

Lucas Herbert of Australia had a 65 and finished third.

Young now heads to back-to-back elevated events on the PGA Tour in Phoenix and Los Angeles. Ancer, who joined LIV last summer, has two weeks off before LIV Golf begins its second season.

Read more:

Trump golf courses to host three events for Saudi-backed LIV golf

‘I love the money:’ Harold Varner reflects on time with Saudi-backed LIV golf tour

Hall says would have ‘strong think’ about joining potential LIV women’s golf tour

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Grammy awards: Will megastar Beyonce finally win top honor of best album?


Pop superstar Beyonce, winner of more Grammy awards than any other female artist, has never taken home the coveted album of the year trophy at the music industry’s highest honors.
That could change on Sunday, according to industry experts and awards pundits, although it is not a sure thing in a formidable, wide-ranging field that includes Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, pop musician Harry Styles, singer and flutist Lizzo, and disco-era Swedish hitmaker ABBA.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Winners will be announced during a ceremony that will be broadcast live on US broadcast network CBS and streamed on Paramount+ starting at 5 p.m. Pacific time/8 p.m. Eastern time (0100 GMT on Monday).
Beyonce heads into the show in Los Angeles with nine nominations, including an album of the year nod for dance-heavy album “Renaissance.” She has won 28 Grammys over her career, and she could break the all-time record of 31 on Sunday.
But the top prize has escaped her. The acclaimed 2016 album “Lemonade” was defeated by Adele’s “25,” prompting the British vocalist to say on stage that Beyonce deserved the honor.
Beyonce “is about to be the most-winningest Grammy award winner. There’s almost no way she’s not going to break the record," said Jem Aswad, deputy music editor for Variety.
“But she has never won album of the year, one of the top awards, and that’s just wrong,” he added.
Adele, who has claimed the album trophy twice, also is in the mix this year with “30.” It is possible that Adele and Beyonce voters could cancel each other out, Aswad said, opening a door for Styles to prevail with “Harry’s House.”
Beyonce’s other nominations include record and song of the year for “Break My Soul.” If she wins at least four awards, she will top the late classical conductor Georg Solti as the most-decorated artist in Grammys history.
The winners are chosen by roughly 11,000 members of the Recording Academy, which has faced complaints that it has not given Black talent proper recognition. The organization has worked to diversify its membership in recent years.
In the best new artist category, contenders include Italian rock band Maneskin, jazz artist Samara Joy, American bluegrass singer Molly Tuttle and TikTok phenom Gayle, who rose to fame with “abcdefu.”
Taylor Swift’s 10-minute version of her 2012 song “All Too Well” was nominated for best song. Swift’s latest album, “Midnights,” was released after this year’s eligibility window, which ran from October 2021 through September 2022.
Comedian Trevor Noah will host Sunday’s awards show. Scheduled performers include Styles, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Luke Combs and Bad Bunny. First lady Jill Biden is among the night’s presenters.
Like other awards shows, the Grammys have seen their television audience decline in recent years. Last year’s ceremony drew roughly 9 million viewers, the second-smallest on record.
Read more:
Beyonce tour: Megastar to perform in North America, Europe following Dubai hit event
Beyonce performs with Lebanese dance troupe Mayyas at opening of Atlantis The Royal
George Michael, country music icon Nelson among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Lebanon hopes UNESCO danger listing could save Trpoli’s modernist fairground


Its arch is cracking and its vast pavilions lie empty, but the crubling Rachid Karami International Fair in Lebanon’s port city Tripoli now has hope of revival, having been added to the United Nations’ list of world heritage sites in danger.
Designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1962, the collection of structures on the 70-hectare plot is considered one of the key works of 20th century modernism in the Middle East.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
But the fair park has slowly decayed due to repeated rounds of fighting over the last 60 years, poor maintenance and most recent-ly Lebanon’s crippling, three-year-old financial crisis.
“It was placed on the World Heritage List exceptionally, quickly and urgently –- and on the list of heritage in danger because it’s in a critical situation,” said Joseph Kreidi, UNESCO’s national pro-gram officer for culture in Beirut.
Its elegant arch is missing concrete in some parts, exposing the rebar underneath. Rainwater has pooled at the locked
entrances. One section is sealed off by a sign that reads, “Unsafe building entry.”
“Placing it on the World Heritage Danger List is an appeal to all countries of the world, as if to say: this site needs some care,” said Kreidi.
He said it was up to the Lebanese authorities to draw together a plan for the site’s protection and rehabilitation but that UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, could help search for funding and provide technical expertise.
Lebanon has five other sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, most of them citadels and ancient temples.
Niemeyer is recognized as one of the fathers of modern architeture and the site in Tripoli was an early foray into the Middle East.
Construction of the fairground began in the 1960s but was delayed when civil war erupted in Lebanon in 1975. Fighters used the site to stage operations and stored weapons underneath its concrete dome.
Mira Minkara, a freelance tour guide from Tripoli and a member of the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation’s Tripoli chapter, has fond — but rare –- memories of the fairground as a child.
For the most part, it was off-limits to Tripoli’s residents given safety concerns. But Minkara remembered her first visit during a festival of pan-African culture and crafts.
She hopes that UNESCO’s recognition could bring new festivals, exhibitions, and economic benefits to Tripoli –- already one of the poorest cities on the Mediterranean before Lebanon’s financial meltdown began.
Lebanon’s cultural heritage has been hit hard in recent years. The 2020 Beirut port blast tore through 19th-century homes in historic neighborhoods and power outages caused by the financial crisis have cut supplies to the national museum.
“We hope things change a little,” Minkara said. “It’s high time for this fairground to emerge from this long sleep, this almost-death.”

Read more:

Continue Reading

Trending