If this news involved anybody else other than R. Kelly then it would be extremely strange.
However, since it does involve R. Kelly it’s not that strange.
According to a report by Buzzfeed News, R&B singer R. Kelly is being accused of brainwashing at least two young and aspiring female singers into sexual servitude in his Chicago and Atlanta homes.
The report claims that Kelly preys on aspiring singers by offering to help them with their careers. However, what begins as a professional relationship slowly turns into a sexual one. Over time, the women eventually end up living in one of Kelly’s homes and in one case, a woman dropped out of a Georgia college and took up residence with other entourage members in Kelly’s suburban Atlanta house, the report says.
Investigators spoke to the families of both women, who claim Kelly preyed upon the women using physical and verbal abuse. The Buzzfeed report alleges Kelly keeps at least six women, all of legal age, on a pair of his properties.
Kelly dictates how they dress, what they eat, when they sleep and even how they engage in sexual encounters, which he reportedly records. One woman, who was once in Kelly’s entourage, detailed her horrifying experiences to Buzzfeed.
“You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom … [Kelly] is a master at mind control … He is a puppet master,” she said. The women must comply with Kelly’s rules or face punishment.
Kelly also gives the women new cell phones and completely cuts off their communication with their families and friends, according to the report. Kelly has yet to respond to the allegations himself but his attorney Linda Mensch responded to the Buzzfeed article in an email, writing –
“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. 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.”
Nevertheless, R. Kelly has had a long, sordid and public history concerning alleged sexual misconduct. For example; According to Vibe and the Chicago Sun-Times, R. Kelly and a then 15-year-old singer protege Aaliyah were illegally married in a secret wedding ceremony on August 31, 1994 in Cook County. The marriage was annulled in February 1995 at the behest of Aaliyah’s family by a Michigan judge. Despite denials from both R. Kelly and Aaliyah, in May 1997 Aaliyah filed a lawsuit in Cook County to have the marriage records expunged. Aaliyah stated in court documents that she was underage at the time of marriage and, under Illinois state law, could not legally enter into marriage without parental consent.
Also, on February 3, 2002, a video surfaced allegedly showing R. Kelly engaging in sex with, and urinating on, an underage girl. The story, which was released by an unknown source, was sent to the Chicago Sun-Times. When questioned, R. Kelly said that he was not the man in the video. In June 2002, Kelly was indicted in Chicago on 21 counts of child pornography.
That same month, Kelly was apprehended by Miami Police Department on a Chicago arrest warrant. The Sheriff’s Office conducted a search of Kelly’s residence in Davenport, Florida. During the search, officers recovered 12 images of an alleged underage girl on a digital camera – wrapped in a towel in a duffel bag – which allegedly depicted Kelly “involved in sexual conduct with the female minor.” Kelly was arrested in January 2003 on those charges. In March 2004, these charges were dropped due to a lack of probable cause for the search warrants.
Concerning the 21 counts of child pornography, after less than a day of deliberations, on June 14 2007, a Chicago jury found Kelly not guilty of all counts.
If police investigate R. Kelly and prosecutors decide to press charges against him concerning the cult allegations, R. Kelly could be charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. However, if the women willfully agreed to be indoctrinated into the cult and confirm this with police the charges may not stick.
Regardless of whether or not R. Kelly is ever charged with a crime in this situation, considering his past charges and bizarre behavior, he is already guilty in the court of opinion.
Joycelyn Savage, one of R. Kelly’s alleged captives, spoke with TMZ and denied allegations that she is being held against her will.
In the interview, Savage says, “I’m in a happy place with my life and I’m not being brainwashed or anything like that,” Savage continued “I want my parents and everybody in the world to know that I am totally fine.”