R. Kelly: His Alleged Suicide Attempt, Sexual Abuse, and the Music Insider Who Begged Him to Get Psychiatric Help

R. Kelly performs onstage during R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons at the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

R. Kelly |  Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET

After the airing of Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, the world learned more about some of the physical, verbal, and mental abuse the R&B singer has been accused of. Since the docuseries, R. Kelly has reportedly been unraveling. Some reports say he has been having panic attacks in the wake of the media attention and statements made against him by his family members.

One music industry insider reportedly picked up on the demons R. Kelly was struggling with early in his career. Here’s what we know about R. Kelly’s alleged suicide attempt, childhood sexual abuse, and the manager who reportedly tried to convince the singer to get psychiatric help.

R. Kelly’s world seems to be closing in on him

Sources told TMZ that R. Kelly started having panic attacks a few days before the airing of Surviving R. Kelly. After the docuseries aired and the allegations were made public, sources say the panic attacks continued and have gotten worse over the last couple of days. According to TMZ, his panics got so severe he once went to a hospital to seek medical treatment.

R. Kelly’s alleged suicide attempt

R. Kelly performs onstage during R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons at the 2013 BET Experience

R. Kelly  | Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET

R. Kelly seems to have battled demons for decades. The singer has admitted in interviews to being sexually abused as a child. One abuser is allegedly a man from his neighborhood, according to a 2002 Chicago Sun-Times article. The other alleged abuser is R. Kelly’s older sister, Theresa, according to his younger brother, Carey Kelly. Sources told the newspaper the sexual abuse experience made R. Kelly shy away and withdraw from his peers.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Jim DeRogatis and Abdon M. Pallasch described R. Kelly as “a private, tormented individual.” They mentioned how R. Kelly often told the media he was shot at the of age 13 when thieves tried to steal his bicycle. However, R. Kelly’s mother reportedly told a former associate that he made up the story to conceal a suicide attempt. He reportedly still has a bullet in his shoulder, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

This music insider begged R. Kelly to get psychiatric help

According DeRogatis and Pallasch, family, friends, and associates have urged R. Kelly for years to get help for his “compulsion” to engage in relationships with underage girls. One of those associates is reportedly R. Kelly’s former manager, Barry Hankerson (R&B singer Aaliyah’s uncle).

Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times Hankerson was troubled by R. Kelly’s behavior regarding his alleged interactions with minors. In an attempt to convince R. Kelly to seek psychiatric help, Hankerson reportedly agreed to waive money owed him if the singer got help. Unfortunately, R. Kelly refused. The newspaper reports Hankerson quit working as R. Kelly’s manager in 1998.

Some of R. Kelly’s family members have spoken out

Andrea Kelly attends the 3rd Annual Georgia Entertainment Gala at Georgia World Congress Center on January 10, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Andrea Kelly | Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

R. Kelly’s brother, Carey Kelly; his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly; and his daughter, Joann Lee Kelly (also known as Buku Abi), have made shocking statements about the singer. For example, in an interview with Tasha K., Carey has alleged R. Kelly had inappropriate contact with their niece. Andrea has alleged years of physical abuse at the hands of R. Kelly. In an Instagram stories post, Joann called her father a “monster.”

Will R. Kelly ever get help?

Carey told Tasha K. he doesn’t think R. Kelly will ever seek help from a professional. One thing that is clear is the stress from the docuseries and mounting allegations are getting to the singer. Only time will tell what the outcome will be for R. Kelly.

Read more: R. Kelly’s Brother Carey Kelly Reveals Their Alleged Abuser

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