Why is Bruce Kelly in jail?

But just why is Bruce Kelly in jail? Many of the people who tuned into Lifetime’s docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, in 2019, or have since streamed it, were intrigued by the insights of Kelly’s older brother, Bruce, which were derived from interviews conducted with him while he was incarcerated. For many of us, it begged the question: Why is Bruce Kelly in jail?

Some sleuths online in the weeks after the documentary came out surmised that the older Kelly was doing time for similar crimes to what his far more famous brother was accused of. The rumours sprouted from the audience’s perception that the older Kelly was seemingly apologetic for his younger brother’s crimes, labelling them more as a personal preference rather than criminal offences. But those rumours, like many found in the backwaters of Internet forums, were later found to be untrue. 

Truth is, the older Kelly has been in and out of prison quite frequently, the most recent stretch — and the one he was serving during the filming of Surviving R. Kelly — was for taking part in a burglary. Before that, he’s reportedly been in the big house for a variety of crimes, including drug possession, violations of probation, theft, criminal trespassing, and driving without a license. 

Due for release in 2019, we haven’t tracked down whether the older Kelly is still inside, but chances are his younger brother will be in for many, many more years to come. Convicted on a raft of sexual offence charges in 2019 — the worst of them including kidnapping and forced labor — R. Kelly is currently incarcerated in the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago. The documentary series that first introduced Bruce Kelly to the world gives voice to the artist’s long list of victims, who’d been silenced during the singer’s once illustrious career. 

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