“The Talk's” guest co-host Kym Whitley reacts to R. Kelly being sentenced to 30 years in prison on federal sex trafficking charges and trauma she suffered after viewing the sex tapes years ago. “I've never told this story on this show, but I feel like every time I hear about R. Kelly it's a trigger for me.
I'm going to get emotional, but I had a talk show back in 2003…I got a tape, one of the first sex tapes, sent to me. And it kind of changed my career…it was a young gospel singer that was with him, and her publicist decided to turn me into the FBI.
And the FBI spent a year basically investigating me and harassing me. I went to the grand jury to testify, they really wanted to know about R. Kelly, and it really became less about him and really about me…I watched [these tapes] and I tried to tell the young lady this is happening, but her publicist felt like I was trying to extort her something.
And they brought me to the grand jury, and they just really wanted to know about these young girls an R. Kelly, and I'm like what are you talking about? I had seen the tapes, but I still was in denial…The documentary [‘Surviving R. Kelly'] is what really brought everything in the world to a head…
This is not about me and that I'm upset. It really, it's about the victims…and what they went through. And I couldn't really talk, and it's traumatic.” Whitley adds, “I hope that when he is in prison that he gets counseling to understand how this happened to him and why he should speak out so no one else will do this.”