R. Kelly is being scrutinized once again for his conduct. New claims suggest the 50-year-old Pied Piper of R&B is physically and verbally abusing women in a “cult” of sorts.
In a new BuzzFeed report, Jim DeRogatis, a journalist who’s covered Kelly for more than 20 years, details the accusation with former members of R. Kelly’s inner circle corroborating the stories of the alleged abuse.
In the report, the parents of an aspiring Georgia singer, whose name was excluded for protection, speak about their beliefs after they say that their daughter ran away to live with Kelly. Other parents are reportedly pleading for their daughters to come home.
“I don’t know what to do,” said the Georgia singer’s mother. “I hope that if I get her back, I can get her treatment for victims of cults. They can reprogram her. But I wish I could have stopped it from happening.”
Other former members of Kelly’s inner circle that spoke on the record include Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee. Mack, who worked as Kelly’s personal assistant, reveals that women who live with the “Trapped In The Closet” singer “have to ask for food” and “have to ask to go use the bathroom.”
“[Kelly] is a master of mind control,” she adds. “He is a puppet master.”
According to Mack and Jones, who said she lived with and had a sexual relationship with Kelly, the R&B star is also abusive. The two claims he physically and verbally punishes women who break his “rules.” In one instance, “Jones claimed that Kelly held her against a tree and slapped her outside of a Subway sandwich shop in spring 2013 because she had been too friendly with the male cashier there,” writes DeRogatis.
Jones and McGee (who also said she lived with and had a sexual relationship with Kelly) claim that the R&B star films his sexual acts and shows the footage to men in his circle.
Mack, Jones, and McGee claim that there were several women living in Kelly’s Duluth, Georgia “guest house” or his Chicago recording studio as of last summer, including a 31-year-old “den mother” who “trained” new girls on Kelly’s sexual pleasures; a 25-year-old woman; a 19-year-old model; a 26-year-old songwriter; and an 18-year-old singer from Florida. According to Mack, Jones, and McGee, Kelly calls these women his “babies” and demands that they call him “daddy.” McGee also likened Kelly to a “cult” leader who emotionally and sexually manipulated the women in his circle.
Law enforcement authorities have stepped in, but no charges have been filed. When the aforementioned Georgia singer was contacted by police, she said that she was “fine” and that she “did not want to be bothered.” But the parents of a Florida singer also spoke to BuzzFeed News, saying that their daughter has faced a similar path. She reportedly began speaking with Kelly as a potential “mentor” before private calls, text messages, and meetings took place.
According to the report, all of the women said to be living with Kelly are above the age of consent, which is 17 in Illinois and 16 in Georgia.
Kelly’s lawyer Linda Mensch addressed the new accusations in a statement to BuzzFeed. “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life,” said Mensch. “He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”
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