R. Kelly’s Former Mentee Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards Speaks On His Recent Guilty Verdict: Thank God They Got It Right This Time
R. Kelly’s ex-mentee Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards isn’t holding anything back as she shares her opinion on the R&B singer’s recent guilty verdict. On Sept. 27 R. Kelly, 54, was found guilty on all counts in his racketeering and sex trafficking trial.
Sparkle, 46, once worked very closely with R. Kelly and her career took off in 1998 as a singing protégé of Kelly’s. She’s most known for her song Be Careful, which features R. Kelly and reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Rhythmic Hot 100.
During a recent interview, she spoke on the outcome of R. Kelly’s trial. She said,
“I didn’t think I would be emotional. But I am. It’s just been a long time for me, dealing with this. On the one hand, I think I’m a little sad because Robert was my ex-mentor and what he did was just a punch to my chest. And I’m also relieved. Thank God they got it right this time. At the first trial, nobody believed me.”
Sparkle is no stranger to the multiple sexual assault allegations surrounding R. Kelly. According to reports, the songstress was the first person to speak out against R. Kelly for his ill behavior over 20 years ago after she allegedly viewed a sexually explicit video featuring the singer and her 14-year-old niece. Sparkle was then reportedly blackballed from the singing industry for calling the police and reporting what she had seen.
However, that didn’t stop Sparkle from calling out R. Kelly. She testified in his 2008 trial for child pornography charges, which he was ultimately found not guilty. She also appeared in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary where she shared her experiences with her former mentor.
In her interview Sparkle also explained why she decided to be a part of the Lifetime documentary.
“I wasn’t looking to stir things up again, but the producers of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ said they were going to include me whether I was part of it or not. I didn’t want anybody lying on me or telling my story, so I said yes.”
She then touched on how speaking out against R. Kelly affected her personal life and career.
“My career was shattered… But when people heard I wasn’t on Robert’s side, they disappeared. It felt like that Homer Simpson GIF where he just backs into the bushes. Robert was so powerful in the industry, they didn’t care what he was doing. For the next 18 years, I only put out a couple of songs. I felt disgusted with the music business. I did a lot of private events and made a few dollars.”
“I didn’t let anyone deter me from speaking up.”
“I know that I’m going down in history being on the right side of truth.”
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