06/03/2019 - 7:30pm


Join us at WORD Jersey City for a discussion and Q&A with journalist Jim DeRogatis, author of the new book Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly. DeRogatis was one of the first reporters to cover the sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly; he has pursued the story for nearly 20 years. He will be joined in conversation at WORD by Pat Martinez, his first editor at the Jersey Journal (DeRogatis is a Jersey City native). 

Please note that admission to this event requires either a purchase of Soulless OR a $5 admission voucher. Books and vouchers can be purchased online in advance or at the door on the day of the event; advance orders will be available for pickup at the store on the day of the event. The admission voucher functions like a gift card and is good toward $5 off anything in store at WORD on the day of the event only. 


“There really isn’t anyone more qualified to write about the saga of R. Kelly than Jim DeRogatis. Jim has done the work. He’s built the relationships. He’s cared about the outcome for almost two decades.” —Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement

In November 2000, after receiving an anonymous fax alleging that singer R. Kelly had a “problem with young girls,” journalist Jim DeRogatis broke the story wide open, publishing the shocking allegations that the R&B superstar had groomed girls, sexually abused them, and paid them off. DeRogatis thought his investigative journalism would have an impact; instead Kelly’s career flourished. 

Now, close to 20 years later, the full story will finally be told. Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly is a darkly riveting account of the life and actions of R. Kelly, and their horrible impact on dozens of girls. A work of tenacious journalism and powerful cultural criticism, the book tells the story of Kelly’s career and DeRogatis’s investigations, including in-depth interviews with a number of key figures who have never spoken publicly before, and brings the story up to the moment when things finally seem to have changed.

This past January, the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly reignited the public interest in Kelly. Later that month, RCA Records dropped him from their label. In February, he was indicted in Chicago on ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. However, before the recent outcry from the docuseries, no one seemed to care: not the music industry, not the culture at large, not the parents of numerous other young girls. But 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 women trusted to tell their stories—of a meeting with the superstar in a classroom, a mall, a concert, or a McDonald’s that forever warped the course of their lives. 

Soulless is the only book to tell this complete story, as well as the story behind the story, by the only person to tell it.


Jim DeRogatis is an associate professor of instruction at Columbia College Chicago and the host, with Greg Kot, of the nationally syndicated public radio show Sound Opinions. DeRogatis spent 15 years as the pop music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Chicago.

Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419740077
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Harry N. Abrams - June 4th, 2019

SKU: rkellyvoucher

$5 admission to this event at our Jersey City store. Your $5 admission voucher functions like a gift card and can be used toward anything in store on the night of the event only.