When getting the story means years of threats, even bullets

July 19, 2019

As a music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis received his first tip about R. Kelly via fax. It alluded to the R&B star’s problem with “young girls.” The critic broke the story of Mr. Kelly’s alleged sex with minors in December 2000.


The following month, Mr. DeRogatis received an anonymous sex tape. Within 12 hours, a bullet burst through his front porch window.


“I cannot say it was R. Kelly, but I think it was a message,” he says.

Mr. DeRogatis has covered Mr. Kelly for two decades, interviewing dozens of women who claim they survived the musician’s abuse. Mr. Kelly, who faces 18 charges from two federal indictments, was denied bond this week. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.





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