R. Kelly has reportedly hired Bill Cosby's former crisis manager, Andrew Wyatt in the wake of his various sexual assault scandals.
Wyatt helped Cosby with public relations as the comedian faced mounting charges of sexual harassment and assault. As Kelly fights against the Illinois state justice system and public opinion, Wyatt told The Blast that he will be helping the singer. His goal, he said, is to help prevent another "public lynching of a successful black man in America.”
Wyatt explained that he has been in talks with Kelly's team for some time, and they are close to finalizing his deal to join them. He felt that there are a lot of similarities between the case of Kelly and Cosby — who is now serving time in prison after being found guilty — and he hopes his experience can help.
From Wyatt's perspective, the onslaught of accusations and new legal action against Kelly comes from people who have an "axe to grind" with "black men in the court of public opinion." He said that Kelly's case is the new front line of a "racist war."
Wyatt is reportedly still working with Cosby's team even as the comedian serves his prison sentence. Sources said that both Camille and Bill Cosby know about Wyatt's plan to work with Kelly, and they support the movie.
The news of Wyatt's deal comes just after Kelly's explosive interview on CBS News with Gayle King. The singer did not do much to earn back credibility with the public, judging by social media. Wyatt felt that, were he on Kelly's team, he could have steered the singer away from what he sees as a blunder.
“I would not have advised him to sit down with an interview with all these counts facing him,” Wyatt said.
Instead, Wyatt said he would urge Kelly to lean on his skills as a performer to get through the media firestorm.
“We have to show this is no different than a tour,” he said. “It’s a tour called the race war and sex war against black men in America.”
Wyatt added that he feels black men are being "demonized," and compared the state of the country in general to a "21st century To Kill a Mockingbird."
Kelly is facing 10 counts of sexual abuse in the state of Illinois. He pleaded not guilty and continues to deny all the charges. Federal authorities are reportedly investigating him in separate cases in New York and Illinois as well.