As the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements against abuse of women are at their peak and achieving results, acts of sexual misconduct are now not easily forgiven by both the law and the people who make up institutions.
The hardest hit celebrities in recent times are comedian and actor Bill Cosby and R&B singer R. Kelly who have both been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Last month, a jury found 80-year-old Cosby guilty of three counts of sexual assault after he was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting former basketball player Andrea Constand in his home in 2004. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each count and he’s likely to serve the jail term concurrently.
R. Kelly, who was acquitted in 2008 on child pornography charges, is facing multiple allegations of sexual abuse, including from women who accused him of coercion and holding them in a sex “cult.” He has not yet been charged, however, his music is facing a downturn.
The hashtag #MuteRKelly, launched to hold him accountable, affected his finances. The worst occurred when his music was removed from Spotify, making him the first artist to be banned as part of a new policy against “hateful content and conduct.”
Besides these two celebrities who are facing the wrath of justice, many others have been accused of sexual misconduct but are having a field day with no real effect on their careers.
Here are some five celebrities who are luckier than R. Kelly and Bill Cosby.
Atlanta-based singer CeeLo Green was accused in 2013 of sexually assaulting a woman by allegedly slipping Ecstasy in her drink.
Sexual assault charges levelled against him were dropped due to insufficient evidence but he was charged with the felony of ecstasy possession.
The woman involved had claimed that she and CeeLo went out for dinner and the next thing she knew was she was naked in his bed.
In early 2018, singer Seal was accused of kissing and groping actress Tracey Birdsall in the fall of 2016.
Seal adamantly denied the allegations made against him by his former neighbour who said the alleged incident happened when she went over to Seal’s home to retrieve a salad spinner she had lent him.
She filed a report at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department but the allegation died down over the months.
Rapper Nelly was arrested in 2017 under suspicion of second-degree rape. The alleged sexual assault took place on his tour bus in Auburn, Washington following his performance at the White River Amphitheatre.
He vehemently denied the allegation and described it as false and defamatory. The criminal case against the rapper collapsed when the accuser refused to cooperate and wanted to stop the investigation.
Two months after the incident, two more women came forward with anonymous accusations of sexual assault against the rapper. One of the women said after his show at the Cliffs Pavilion in Essex, she asked him to take a photo and he gripped her tightly with his arm and brought her and her friends to his dressing room.
Once in the dressing room, Nelly escorted her into a separate room and began to masturbate in front of her. According to her account, Nelly also tried to take her top off and force her to perform oral sex. As she ran away, she claims he called her a “cunt”. Investigations are ongoing.
Basketball star Kobe Bryant was accused in 2003 of rape in a hotel room near Vail on the night of June 30, 2003. The 19-year-old accuser was a front-desk clerk at the hotel who went to his room. She said they kissed and flirted and that he then became violent and raped her.
Bryant said she flirted with him and it led to consensual sex. The case was dismissed in 2004 after prosecutors said the woman who had accused Bryant of sexual assault was unwilling to testify.
Even as he was cleared of the criminal charge, Kobe Bryant apologized for his behaviour.
His 2018 Oscar win for the Best Short Film (Animated) Award for “Dear Basketball” which is also his first Academy Award was derided by many who recalled the rape allegation.
Hip-hop, fashion, and entertainment mogul Russell Simmons was accused by model Keri Claussen Khalighi of coercing her to perform a sex act and later penetrating her without her consent in his New York apartment in 1991. He disputed her account, saying the relationship was consensual.
From that time to 2018, over half a dozen women have accused him of sexual misconduct, and six of them accused him of rape. The latest is 37-year-old filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik who accused him in January 2018 of rape and sexual assault.
She filed a lawsuit in California’s Central District Court, seeking $5 million in damages. Jarosik alleged that Simmons raped her in August 2016 after she was invited to his house in Los Angeles.
When Jarosik arrived, Simmons allegedly asked her to have sex with him, to which she allegedly said “no.”
“Simmons got aggressive and pushed Plaintiff [Jarosik] on his bed. Plaintiff tried to force Defendant to stay away from her and in doing so, Defendant knocked Plaintiff off his bed, and Plaintiff hit her head and then Defendant pounced on her while she was still in shock and fear, and proceeded to rape her,” says the lawsuit.
Simmons stated that he has “never had a sexual encounter that was not consensual or lawful — ever.”
This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com