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Journalist who first reported on R. Kelly accusations says singer's "star is fading"

Journalist Jim DeRogatis last year wrote a major expose about R. Kelly in BuzzFeed last year after decades investigating the R&B singer. He said in an interview Wednesday with CBSN's Reena Ninan on "Red & Blue" that he believes Kelly's "star is fading" from his days of "I Believe I Can Fly," but that African American women have been discussing the allegations against him for decades and they were ignored.

"It's better late than never, but what we have here is singular in the history of popular music in that this man is not part of groupie culture and the romance of all that with pop musicians," DeRogatis said. "This is a pattern, allegedly, of three decades of predatory behavior of young women, often underage, mistreating them physically and mentally."

Last year,  DeRogatis wrote in BuzzFeed about parents in three states -- Illionis, Georgia and Florida -- who accused Kelly of running a "cult" to police and the FBI. He said he believed the scope and the immediacy of the accusations made the situation both "harrowing" and "unique." 

When Ninan asked DeRogatis if the reason the accusations were largely ignored could because they invovled African American women, DeRogatis said that's what "dozens of black women have said to me."  

"The victims of Harvey Weinstein, allegedly, we know them – they're beautiful, white superstars, we see them on television and in the movies. I don't think people are relating the way they would – thinking these daughters in Florida, in Georgia, in Chicago could be my daughter. And I just think that's tragic," DeRogatis said.

On Tuesday, Faith Rodgers told "CBS This Morning " she is suing Kelly for  "sexual battery" and "willfully, deliberately and maliciously" infecting her with herpes and claims Kelly "mentally, sexually and verbally" abused her. She said she now believes the now 51-year-old "pursues teenage/underage" girls and "lures" them into engaging in sex acts.

For decades there have been questions concerning R. Kelly and his relationship with underage girls. In 2008, he was acquitted on child pornography charges. Prosecutors alleged he made a sex tape with a girl around 14 years old.  Now, several music streaming services, including Spotify and Apple, removed Kelly's songs from their featured playlists. There is also a growing movement online #muterkelly

Amid the controversy to #muterkelly, in late April promoters canceled a concert in Chicago, his hometown. Despite nationwide protests at shows, the three-time Grammy winner is still performing.   


To watch the full interview, click on the player at the top of the page. "Red & Blue" airs on CBSN Monday-Thursday at 9 p.m.