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Soulless

The Case Against R. Kelly
Narrated by: Jim DeRogatis
Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
5 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The essential account of R. Kelly’s actions and their consequences, a reckoning two decades in the making

In November 2000, Chicago journalist and music critic Jim DeRogatis received an anonymous fax that alleged R. Kelly had a problem with “young girls”. Weeks later, DeRogatis broke the shocking story, publishing allegations that the R&B superstar and local hero had groomed girls, sexually abused them, and paid them off. DeRogatis thought his work would have an impact. Instead, Kelly’s career flourished. 

No one seemed to care: not the music industry, not the culture at large, not the parents of numerous other young girls. But for more than 18 years, DeRogatis stayed on the story. He was the one who was given the disturbing videotape that led to Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial, the one whose window was shot out, and the one whom women trusted to tell their stories - of a meeting with the superstar at a classroom, a mall, a concert, or a McDonald’s that forever warped the course of their lives. 

Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly is DeRogatis’ masterpiece, a work of tenacious journalism and powerful cultural criticism. It tells the story of Kelly’s career, DeRogatis’ investigations, and the world in which the two crossed paths, and brings the story up to the moment when things finally seem to have changed. Decades in the making, this is an outrageous, darkly riveting account of the life and actions of R. Kelly, and their horrible impact on dozens of girls, by the only person to tell it.

©2019 Jim DeRogatis (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Best layout of the Rob Saga

This journalist is very detailed with the accounts over such a long time span. He did an exceptional job with integrity and empathy for the victims. I enjoyed how the story was told in such a poignant way. Great job.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The story only Jim DeRogatis could write



I grew up on the south side of Chicago and vividly recall hearing the stories about R Kelly' preying on young girls when I was in high school. I even had a friend who was good friends with his first victim, Tiffany Hawkins. He'd tell anyone who would listen that R Kelly was no good and that people shouldn't support his music.  I used to see Robert hanging around Lincoln Mall frequently in suburban Matteson (not far from his mansion)  and I'd wonder why he'd waste his time there when he obviously had better things to do. It never even occurred to me that he'd be picking up his next victims.....  Jim calls Chicago, "a big small town" and I'd agree with that statement. The south side is a small community and when you grow up here you're connected to people typically by a few degrees of separation.  EVERYONE talked about R Kelly and everyone knew about his rumored affinity for young girls. People spoke of it in a matter-of-fact manner as if it were a fact of life that couldn't be changed.


I firmly believe that Jim is the sole reason why R Kelly's days as a serial predator may be numbered. Jim DeRogatis was the ONLY voice speaking on the subject publicly back then. He's been the most consistent voice fighting for all of Robert's victims. His reporting on this story has been relentless and tenacious. This book is the one only HE could write.


Growing up around the story since it's inception I was surprised that there was so much that I didn't know. The book is extremely detailed starting from the very beginning and ending with the most recent events. It's a bit dry at times, but it's a book about a serial pedophile/abuser. It's not supposed to entertaining or necessarily enjoyable.  The book is painstakingly researched and Jim handled each survivor's story with care managing to snag a few exclusive interviews along the way.


Surviving R Kelly felt like a highlight reel after reading this book. Sure the highlight reel gets all the glory, but the real work is put in when no one is watching. This book is the blood, sweat and tears of the last 20+ years that Jim has reported on this story. It can be a lot to take in at times, but It's most definitely worth the investment of your time.


Jim narrates the book in a steady monotone. He sounds exactly the same as he does when he's being interviewed or doing his podcast. His narration style isn't the most exciting or expressive, but it felt appropriate for the subject matter.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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10 stars

This book was factual, professional, empathetic and demanding of accountability of us all. I enjoyed this one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Valarie
  • BOSTON, MA, United States
  • 06-21-19

Excellent book that exposed the facts in a timeline that is compelling

The author recounts his involvement in the exposure of RKelly as a sexual predator of Black adolescent girls and the system of corruption that enables him to do so for decades. The book is well written and details RKelly's exploits and exploitation.

However, after the story there is an interview where the author gets political and show-horns unproven and unreliable smears in the political realm into the conversation. After reading this book, I was stunned at his claim that the testimony of Dr Fraud against Justice Kavanaugh was credible although there was no date, place or time and none of her witnesses agreed that they had witnessed her allegations not did they even know judge Kavanaugh! Her story was completely unreliable and she was also caught lying about her fear of flying. Yet as a white woman, her obviously politically motivated accusation was accepted by the media without question.

The attempt to connect the Democrat political smear circus of the Kavanaugh hearing to this story of actual sexual predatory crimes disrespects the real victims of sexual abuse and assault and shows how the mainstream media's Democrat bias infects this journalist also. Stick to music and the crimes of musicians.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Jim D Thank you for rocking

I really loved this book. Not because I love tragedy or pedophiles but because I love a journalist who gets the story and sticks to that story for over two decades. Your voice helps some of those women gain a measure of peace by continually keeping after RK. After reading the first chapter, I was out with my husband walking and asked him, “ how is this piece of trash still walking free in this world?” The next morning I turned on the news to see that RK had been picked up on federal charges. Let’s hope this time it sticks. Keep rocking Jim D.

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Thank you

Thank you for helping all of those victims, giving them a voice and restoring their power once again.

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Wow!!

What a story! Between this book and the documentary, we now know a lot about R. Kelly. Most of it is worse than I thought. I am not a Chicagoan nor a fan, so I had no idea. Even before completing the book, I recommended it to several others, including my all female book club. I pray that all of the young women who were victimized and involved with Kelly not only survive, but thrive. As for the enablers, someone needs to pray for them too. Mr. DeRogatis, great job and thank you.

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  • De
  • 06-25-19

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Brilliant Writer!!!! Great Read with an indepth timeline of events. Thanks for all of your reporting

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Disturbing and thorough

This book was captivating from start to finish. I found myself rewinding chapters to make sure I got the names and details right. Sometimes I rewound a chapter as I found the content so unbelievable! Highly recommend this book. I think some of the passages would have translated differently in print but overall I still found the book something I couldn’t put down.

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Well written and Meticulously researched.

I really have had my eyes opened by what Jim has written. As a father and as a lover of music I am appreciative of the level of detail and effort that has given to this. R.Kelly is immensely talented but...R.Kelly is a predator that needs help and whom needs to be stopped. Thank you Jim.