[SA EXCLUSIVE] Singer Sparkle opens up about R Kelly sex abuse claims

In an exclusive South African interview, CapeTalk presenter Sara-Jayne King talks to Sparkle who featured in the R Kelly documentary series exposing allegations of sexual abuse.

Listen to her interview:

After the 6-part documentary series 'Surviving R Kelly' was released, containing allegations of sexual abuse by numerous women, he was charged, handed himself in last week, and has since been released on bail.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

US recording artist Sparkle, born Stephanie Edwards, met R Kelly back in 1989 and became his mentee and protegee.

But after what she calls his controlling behavior had severed businesses ties with the singer and moved to the Motown label.

She has revealed that the 14-year-old victim of Kelly’s 2002 child pornography case was her own niece and, that she had introduced the pair.

Sparkle joins Sara-Jayne King from the US to give her reaction to the latest in the R Kelly sex abuse scandal and to talk about her latest single which pays tribute to the often voiceless survivors of abuse.

Sparkle catapulted to fame in the 1990s after a duet with the singer achieved global success.

The early days were really great and I learned a lot in the studio from him like his writing technique.

Sparkle, US recording artist

She says she only realised there were problems with his behaviour long after she asked to be released from her contract in 1999. In about 2001 she began to hear details of what was allegedly going on.

But I didn't see anything when I was in the camp.

Sparkle, US recording artist

Asked whether she found it strange that he is accused of keeping her and others separated from one another she says this.

I didn't think it was weird. I just thought it was the way he wanted to set his camp up because I had heard about similar things in other camps.

Sparkle, US recording artist

She just knew that was not for her.

I am a speaker and I will speak with who I want to speak with.

Sparkle, US recording artist

He did not want his artists speaking to on another, she says.

I guess it was a controlling mechanism when I look back on it.

Sparkle, US recording artist

She says severing their relationship was bittersweet after being so close.

I considered him family, but in the end, he proved not to be such good family.

Sparkle, US recording artist

She says after they parted ways they barely spoke or saw each other.

But during the time they worked together she introduced her family to him, 'in the hope he could make them superstars as he had done for me', she explains.

And one of those family members was her then 14-year-old niece who Sparkle claims featured in the porn video in 2002, resulting in a child pornography case for which R Kelly was acquitted.

She says it hurts that people accuse her of throwing her niece to the wolves, but says she knows she did not do so.

I know that I did everything in my humanly possible being to protect her while I was in the camp.

Sparkle, US recording artist

After Sparkle left, she says she was unable to protect her niece any longer.

She says she was surprised at the number of women that came forward to participate in the documentary series, levelling accusations at R Kelly.

I was heartbroken, just seeing the number of lives he has ruined.

Sparkle, US recording artist

I am hoping and praying that Robert does receive help. He needs help, and he needs jail time.

Sparkle, US recording artist

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [SA EXCLUSIVE] Singer Sparkle opens up about R Kelly sex abuse claims


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Predators in pink - local artist draws inspiration from the Big Five

Predators in pink - local artist draws inspiration from the Big Five

Last year Sabrina Rupprecht sold her entire collection to a single buyer in the United States.

[LISTEN] SA expat living in Chicago describes the big freeze

[LISTEN] SA expat living in Chicago describes the big freeze

A CapeTalk listener and SA expat in Chicago chats to Sara-Jayne King about the extreme cold they are experiencing.

The man behind 'The Man in the Mirror' - MJ tribute show returns to CPT

The man behind 'The Man in the Mirror' - MJ tribute show returns to CPT

The Michael Jackson History Show is back in Cape Town to the delight of music fans.

Taliep Pietersen's daughter shares her emotional journey since her dad's death

Taliep Pietersen's daughter shares her emotional journey since her dad's death

Fatiema, daughter of the late and legendary South African musician Taliep Petersen joined Sara-Jayne King in studio on Wednesday.

"If you are a black girl, nobody's going to listen to you." #SurvivingRKelly

"If you are a black girl, nobody's going to listen to you." #SurvivingRKelly

Abuse survivor Rosie Motene shares her thoughts on the docuseries Surviving R Kelly which explores sex claims against the singer.

Storm in a 'G' Cup -  why are SA clothing retailers ignoring big-breasted women?

Storm in a 'G' Cup - why are SA clothing retailers ignoring big-breasted women?

Many women say they are forced to buy bras from overseas and import them to SA at great expense.

Popular articles
New HIV drug with fewer side effects introduced by Health Department

New HIV drug with fewer side effects introduced by Health Department

Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism deputy editor Laura Lopez Gonzalez explains the benefits of the new pill.

[WATCH] 'I didn't poop, I peed,' kid excited that he went potty successfully

[WATCH] 'I didn't poop, I peed,' kid excited that he went potty successfully

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Africa gets a common currency – the 'eco' – to be used by 385 million people

Africa gets a common currency – the 'eco' – to be used by 385 million people

How realistic is the 'eco'? The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Ronak Gopaldas, Africa Analyst at Signal Risk.

Gift of the Givers' Dr Imtiaz Sooliman – angel amongst men – talks about money

Gift of the Givers' Dr Imtiaz Sooliman – angel amongst men – talks about money

"I have no desire for clothes. I have no desire for holidays. I have no desire for outings. All I see is the suffering of people…"

SIU report: Corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2 billion in Gauteng health

SIU report: Corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2 billion in Gauteng health

The report reveals that former Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa and 11 others are involved in the irregular expenditure.