Though the New York federal sex trafficking trial against disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly has only entered its third week, there have been countless wild, disturbing and intriguing revelations since the beginning.
One of those revelations now includes a new allegation against a former U.S. Bureau of Prisons officer who is suspected of leaking various jail records related to R. Kelly to a social media blogger. Per The Chicago Tribune, the female officer—identified only as “Officer A”—illegally accessed Kelly’s “recorded phone calls, emails, visitor logs and other restricted information” over a six-month period while he was imprisoned at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
More from The Chicago Tribune:
A review of Officer A’s logins to the Bureau of Prisons internal information system, meanwhile, showed that the officer had improperly accessed Kelly’s records 153 times between July 15, 2019, when Kelly first arrived at the MCC, and Dec. 12, 2019, shortly before her retirement, according to the warrant. During that time, the officer also accessed and printed out Kelly’s visitor logs and payments made into and out of his commissary account, which included the names of people sending money to Kelly while he was in jail, according to the warrant.
On Nov. 13, 2019, the officer sent herself a 12-page scan of Kelly’s jail records from her official BOP email account to a Gmail address registered to her, according to the warrant. Among the information in that scan was a log of Kelly’s emails, including some later divulged by Tasha K. in her video blog.
In a surprising twist, however, it was later revealed that Officer A worked as a disciplinary hearing officer at a federal prison in Wisconsin and was not assigned to the MCC, which further calls into question her reasoning behind why she was looking up those records in the first place. The answer, according to a recently unsealed federal search warrant, may lie with a blogger named Tasha K. Per the warrant, the warden of Chicago’s MCC first reported to BOP internal affairs on Nov. 22, 2019, that popular YouTube blogger Tasha K., whose videos related to the R. Kelly trial have amassed thousands and thousands of views, “‘had revealed sensitive law enforcement information’ regarding the celebrity identified as Kelly, including ‘information that would have been known to BOP employees who had monitored Inmate A’s telephone calls or accessed the recordings of those calls.’”
Additionally, as previously reported by The Root, Jane Doe #5 testified early on in the trial that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer had her write letters to “protect him in a trial like this.” Now, according to CNN, it appears she wasn’t the only one compelled to do so. Letters penned by at least two of Kelly’s other “girlfriends” and several former employees ranged from apologies to statements making false claims intended to be embarrassing if released.
Male accuser “Louis,” who previously testified on day eight of the trial, was allegedly also made to write a letter that claimed “he had been approached by people who were trying to pay him to claim he was having a sexual relationship with Kelly, which Louis said did not happen.”
“Faith,” who took the stand on day nine, also testified that Kelly asked her if she would “help protect him” by “writing something about her family that she didn’t want anyone to know,” though ultimately, she never did so.
One of Kelly’s former assistant’s, Suzette Mayweather, who also testified on day nine, claimed she often had to write apology letters to the singer anytime she did something to upset him, citing a few incidents.
On another interesting note, it appears an apology is owed on behalf of Drake and the producing team behind his recently released Certified Lover Boy album. According to Vulture, the eighth track of the album “TSU,” which comes across as a lusty song about college women, features R. Kelly on the list of credited songwriters, thanks to a sample or interpolation of his 1998 single “Half on a Baby.” Naturally, with Kelly’s name being in headlines over the last several weeks (read: really most of his damn career, tbh), many called out the “Laugh Now, Cry Later” rapper for including him on an album, alleging that the inclusion serves as further validation of a sexual predator.
However, on Monday, frequent Drake collaborator, producer and co-founder of OVO, Noah “40” Shebib brought some clarity to the problematic choice in a comment on Instagram which read:
“On a song called tsu at the beginning is a sample of OG Ron c talking. Behind that faintly which you can’t even hear is a r Kelly song playing in the background,” he wrote. “It has no significance no lyrics are present, r Kelly’s voice isn’t even present but if we wanted to use Ron c talking we were forced to license it. Doesn’t sit well with me let me just say that. “And I’m not here to defend drakes lyrics, but I thought I would clear up that there is no actual r Kelly present and it’s a bit misleading to call him a co lyricist,” Shebib continued. “It’s kinda wild cause I was reading ‘Baby Girl’ by Kathy Iandoli and the recounts of some of that stuff is horrific and disgusting. Then I saw this post and just had to say something because to think we would stand beside that guy or write with him is just incredibly disgusting.[sic]”