R. Kelly doesn’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to women, but these new allegations are bananas.
Over 10 years ago, a sex tape leaked that allegedly showed the R&B singer engaged in acts with a 14-year-old girl… though he was eventually acquitted on all the counts of child pornography he was facing.
Today, Kelly may be subject to persecution again, following new claims that he’s running an abusive cult against young women.
According to a Buzzfeed story, parents — along with other women — are accusing the 50-year-old singer of running a “cult”, where young women are held against their will at his Atlanta and Chicago properties. There, he allegedly bars them from using cellphones and the bathroom without his permission, and rarely allows them to contact their family.
One family let their daughter travel with Kelly, in the hopes that it would advance her music career. This was 2015 and she was just 19. Despite past accusations of sexual abuse, they thought they would be able to protect their daughter… but now say they were wrong and are desperately trying to get her back.
“In the back of our minds, we were thinking [my daughter] could be around him if I was with her,” the girl’s mother tells Buzzfeed, reference Kelly’s previously relationship with the late Aaliyah, who he married when she was just a 15-year-old. “It didn’t really hit home. Even with the Aaliyah situation, now that I think about it, ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number’ … but you don’t think about that. You grew up with the song, and you like the song.”
Two years after meeting Kelly, the parents say they’ve only seen their daughter a few times — the last time being Dec. 1, 2016. They’ve went to authorities for help, but in the eyes of the law, she’s living with Kelly and doing fine… although the parents say she is “being held against her will” as part of a “cult.”
When they last saw her, they said they noticed her behavior had drastically changed. “It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” the mother 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. I don’t know what to do. 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.”
That’s not the only story either. Three former members of “Kelly’s inner circle” (according to the report) — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee — all lived in Kelly’s Duluth, Ga. or Chicago home last summer. Each tell very similar stories, where the singer controlled them and other women.
According to the women, six other women live in the Georgia and Chicago properties, where Kelly controls every aspect of their lives — what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.
Mack — who worked as Kelly’s personal assistant for a year and a half starting in 2013 — says that women in Kelly’s entourage initially think “This is R. Kelly, I’m going to live a lavish lifestyle. No. 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.”
Women at the properties include a 31-year-old den mother, who “trains” new girls to sexually satisfy Kelly. The girls are called Kelly’s “babies” and are told they must call him “daddy.” Furthermore, when they disobey his commands, the singer can get violent. Jones said Kelly once held her up against a wall outside of a Subway and slapped her after he felt she was too friendly to the cashier.
Finally, McGee says there’s a difference between Kelly’s public persona and Robert Kelly, his birth name and the identity he assumes behind closed doors. “R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet,” McGee said. “But Robert is the devil.”
All of the women allegedly involved with Kelly are of consenting age.
R. Kelly has not commented on the story, as of press time.