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Why Cara Delevingne doesn’t care if she loses fans for speaking about R Kelly

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The model has blasted those who want her to stay silent. 

With more than 41 million followers on Instagram, Cara Delevingne is one of the most influential and recognisable models in the world.

And those who follow the British supermodel know not to expect an endless roster of gym selfies or green juice snaps on her Instagram. (Though, granted, there are a few of those.) Delevingne’s social media platforms are a passionate ode to the many causes that are close to her heart, from LGBTQ+ rights to calling out sexual predators in the industries in which she works – including the one who allegedly sexually harassed her in a hotel room when she was just beginning her film career. 

It was no surprise, then, that Delevingne was one of the famous names to speak out against R Kelly following the release of the Surviving R Kelly documentary on Lifetime last week. 

R Kelly

“I am so shocked and outraged at how long this has gone on,” Delevingne wrote in an Instagram caption after watching the docuseries. 

“My heart goes out to all the victims of his emotional and physical abuse and their families. This man is a predator who feeds off power and in my opinion is far worse than Harvey Weinstein and needs to be held accountable.”

Delevingne emphasised that she was not comparing the film producer and the musician, but wanted to point out that “Harvey is being investigated and R Kelly is not.” She also admitted that she had been aware of the accusations that had been levelled against Kelly.

“We have ourselves to blame in this situation,” she continued. “I knew of the allegations but failed to try and understand the severity of the situation. I still continued to listen to his music. Stop separating art from the artist, just because he sings like an angel, doesn’t mean he is one.”

The post was liked by almost half a million people but there were some for whom the message wasn’t welcome. In a second Instagram post, Delevingne revealed that she lost more than 50,000 followers after sharing that message criticising Kelly.

“Every time I say something real, something I truly believe, something others may think of as controversial, something that makes people think and ask questions, I lose followers,” Delevingne wrote. “The followers I lose clearly don’t agree with what I have to say, people that support the ideas and actions of others who are moving backwards and not forward.”

The model added that she wanted to spend 2019 being “more confrontational.” 

“Confrontation is not violence, by the way, it’s communication,” she explained. “Something I still struggle with. I have always been taught to avoid confrontation at all costs, which caused me to be silent most of my life. Silence causes suppression and suppression causes sickness. Not anymore! Goodbye silence and backwards followers, hello confrontation and forward thinkers. It’s going to be a loud year.”

Delevingne isn’t the only celebrity who watched Surviving R Kelly and was moved to speak out. Ne-Yo, Chance the Rapper and John Legend, who gave an interview in the film, have all used social media to decry the singer. “To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all,” Legend wrote on Twitter. “I believe these women and don’t give a f*** about protecting a serial child rapist.” 

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Lady Gaga, who collaborated with Kelly on her 2013 single Do What U Want (With My Body) wrote a lengthy apology on Twitter and vowed to pull the song from all streaming services. 

“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” Lady Gaga said. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young and for not speaking out sooner.”

Responding to Lady Gaga’s statement, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg had this to say: “Mr Kelly appreciates that she recognised his immense talent and collaborated with him to help her career, but finds it regrettable that she is now exploiting this controversy to try and help her in her effort to win an Oscar.” 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel. Follow her on Twitter

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