Disturbing allegations against R. Kelly rocked the Internet Monday, when BuzzFeed News published an article in which parents accuse the R&B singer of holding their daughters against their will in an abusive “cult.”
BuzzFeed reporters conducted exclusive interviews with three former members of Kelly’s inner circle and reviewed legal documents to find details confirming the parents’ worst fears.
The insiders revealed that six women, ages 18 to 31, live in the singer’s properties in Chicago and Atlanta, where he “controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”
According to BuzzFeed, the women have to ask permission to leave their assigned rooms. Their cell phones are confiscated so they’re unable to contact their friends or family.
One mother said the last time she saw her daughter was in December: “It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible.”
Kelly was acquitted in 2008 on 14 charges of making child pornography in a case that centered on a videotape prosecutors said showed him having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
However, as BuzzFeed notes, the trial “excluded claims made by girls or their parents that alleged Kelly regularly abused his position of fame and influence to pursue illegal sexual relationships with underage girls — which has also been the subject of a dozen or more civil lawsuits against Kelly that were settled out of court with cash payments from Kelly.”
Read the full story on BuzzFeed News.
On Tuesday, one of the women allegedly held captive by Kelly spoke with TMZ via video chat. Joycelyn Savage, whose parents held a news conference Monday to accuse the singer of keeping their daughter as a “sex slave,” denied the reports.
“I just mainly want to say that I am in a happy place with my life,” she said. “I’m not being brainwashed or anything like that. It just came to a point where it definitely has gotten out of hand. I just want everybody to know — my parents and everybody in the world — that I am totally fine. I’m happy where I’m at, and everything is okay with me.”
Watch the TMV video chat and her parents’ press conference below.
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