In a shocking Buzzfeed story released this week, it was alleged that R. Kelly has been holding women against their will in some kind of “sex cult.”
Meeting with a nineteen year-old girl and her mother backstage at a concert in Indio, CA, R&B singer R. Kelly agreed to help her promote her daughter’s music. The singer’s mother said “she’d heard about past sexual misconduct accusations against Kelly, but wasn’t overly worried.” “He was going to help her with her CD,” she said, “and I was really impressed with him at first, because I have always been an R. Kelly fan.”
Back in 1994, R. Kelly first hit sexual misconduct allegations when he tried to marry then fifteen year-old singer Aaliyah, whom he had worked with on producing her aptly-named album Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number. The marriage was quickly annulled and records such as R and Grammy wins for “I Believe I Can Fly” kept him positively in the public eye, as well as a professional split from Aaliyah so as to not damage their respective careers. Other various women would step up over the years as well, all cases shot-down, and even a 2002 video-tape of R. Kelly allegedly having sex with a fourteen year-old girl was cleared of all charges. After that, he was right back into it with “Ignition (Remix)”and his Trapped in the Closet series.
The Indio, CA meeting between the nineteen year-old girl, her mother, and R. Kelly, ended with Kelly agreeing to promote her music. The singer would later drop-out of college in Georgia to work with R. Kelly, and then two years later this Buzzfeed story appeared recounting the meeting and stating that her parents are now ” in a desperate fight to bring their daughter home.” “Despite her parents telling the police that she is ‘being held against her will,'” they report, their daughter says that she’s doing fine and still lives with R. Kelly.
Three former members of Kelly’s inner circle — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee — provided details supporting the parents’ worst fears. They said six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and 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… “It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” she said. “I hugged her and hugged her. But she just kept saying she’s in love and [Kelly] is the one who cares for her.” – Buzzfeed
The rest of the report describes that of a monster: a man that holds women captive, dictates their lives, films their sexual encounters, and shows them to friends in his inner circle. It’s an interesting case, as technically all of the women in the supposed “cult” are not only of legal age, but also consent to their relationship with Kelly. If he were truly holding them against their will in some kind of “cult,” or sexually abusing them, then it would be an obvious charged offense, but as of now in the investigation, as nothing has been definitely proven, these women are completely consenting to whatever polyamorous relationship they are in with R. Kelly.
TMZ has also confirmed that authorities in Chicago and Atlanta have conducted welfare checks at the request of one of the women’s parents; however, there were no charges filed, as the women told police “she did not want to be bothered with her parents because her father was threatening people.” – Complex
Her father, now identified as Tim Savage, publicly challenged R. Kelly to sue him for defamation, to which his daughter, Jocelyn Savage, responded asking him to stop embarrassing the family because she is “happy where [she’s] at and the people that [she’s] around.” Jocelyn refused to disclosure her location, but according to her father it was because “‘she’s not allowed to’ reveal that information.”
An article for Jezebel appeared shortly after detailing the account of a woman from R. Kelly’s inner circle in which she says that the girls there are being “manipulated and brainwashed,” just like a cult leader to their followers. Nevertheless, Jocelyn Savage maintains that she’s “doing fine.”
“I am in a happy place in my life, and I’m not being brainwashed or anything like that… 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… I’ve never been held hostage or anything of that nature.” – Jocelyn Savage
“It’s not non-consensual, I guess,” concludes the girl from the Jezebel article, “But I don’t know if they even realize the situation they’re in is wrong.”
[UPDATE: 7/27/17] R. Kelly has reportedly hired Bill Cosby’s sexual assault lawyer.
More on the R. Kelly “sex cult” and it’s possible implications or just flat-out weirdness as the story develops…