Legendary singer and actress Stephanie Mills is not sparing any feelings when she speaks anymore and is unapologetic. Mills is known for her role as “Dorothy” in The Wiz as well as big hits “Never Knew Love Like This Before”, “Home”, and “I Have Learned To Respect The Power Of Love” has worked with many artists in her career and can speak from experience.
With all of the drama and controversy surrounding a few major African American entertainers, Mills spoke up in an interview with The Root. Documentaries devoted to exposing and/or tearing down the likes of R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and others have been released in recent years. Jackson and Mills shared a special relationship, as they once briefly dated. “I loved Michael!” Stephanie said in a 2016 interview with Closer Weekly. “We dated for about a year and a half back in the day. He was the sweetest, most compassionate, most loving person. Very soft-spoken and very humble.”
When asked by The Root if she would watch the HBO Leaving Neverland documentary, Mills stated that she “won’t be watching it because he didn’t do the things—they said he was already clear. He went to court. So why are they doing it? It’s purely to make money,” she stated. “So, I will not be watching it, because I don’t believe any of that is true. I know for a fact that it’s not true.”
However, when it comes to R. Kelly, she begs to differ. “I believe that R. Kelly should go to jail for what he’s done,” Mills states absolutely. While she feels that he should pay for his crimes, she doesn’t think his music should be muted. “Him writing his music has nothing to do with that. Him being an entertainer and a star,” she said. “And those parents bringing those children to the show and then allowing him— I have a son; there’s no way I would take my son to a Bruno Mars show, and say ‘OK, Bruno, you can mentor my son. I’m gonna let him stay with you.’ There’s no way.”
The singer does feel like the buck shouldn’t stop at just R. Kelly as it pertains to his crimes. “And I also believe that the handlers and his ex and his ex-wife and all of that to go to jail, too,” she added. “You cannot tell me you live in a house with a man and you don’t know what’s going on. That is not true. I don’t believe that. She should go to jail, too. And so should the handlers that helped him.”
Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, was one of the women that appeared in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series with claims of abuse against the controversial singer/songwriter. Her appearance made many viewers mirror the feelings of Mills who felt that she had to have known what was going on and could have been complicit. Aware of the chatter from the public, Andrea addressed them in a recent appearance on Out Loud with Claudia Jordan where she said that her children’s safety and protection is what made her wait.
“You have to understand that we have a legal system that is in place that will let a mother like me walk into court and say, ‘well he hasn’t done anything to his children, he has a right to see his children,’” Andrea said to Jordan. “So now you want me as his victim, to make sure I facilitate visitation with this man, but you guys are not taking into accountability when theirs pick up and drop off what if that’s the one time he decides he’s done and he’s going to kill everybody.”
Kelly also mentioned that her children were privy to some of the abuse that she endured, as well as all of the stories surrounding her father. “My children, unfortunately, were exposed to not just their mom being abused before I came out, they had to deal with the stories of pedophilia with their father,” she admitted. “That’s too much to put on young children that don’t even understand what’s going on. So I couldn’t come forward until I knew my children could handle it.”