Parents Say R. Kelly Is Confining Their Young Daughters in an Abusive Sex ‘Cult’ [UPDATED]
UPDATE 5 p.m ET: R. Kelly has responded to the allegations. See bottom of post for details.
R. Kelly has been holding multiple young women in an abusive sex cult for years, according to an explosive report from Buzzfeed.
Parents of the women told a reporter that they are there "against their will" in a "cult," though investigators say they have found nothing illegal. The women are in their late teens but of legal consent age where they are,
The report claims that Kelly "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."
The 50-year-old R&B star has a long history of allegations of highly controversial sexual conduct, from secretly marrying the singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 in 1994 (the marriage was annulled a year later), to (allegedly) urinating on an underage girl on-camera. He was found not guilty in 2008 of those charges. Kelly has denied all these claims (and many others).
One mother, called J in the report, said she had thought that Kelly would help her daughter with her music career.
“In the back of our minds, we were thinking [my daughter] could be around him if I was with her,” she said. “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.”
She and her husband have been trying for two years now to get back their daughter, who lives with Kelly in Atlanta. J described the last time they saw her:
It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible. 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.
J has informed police and the FBI of what's going on, but her daughter -- and as many as five others, living in either Illinois or Georgia in residences owned or rented by Kelly -- is of legal age, so she is not technically a missing person. The aspiring musician even told police that she was "fine and did not want to be bothered."
Three women who had spent significant time as part of Kelly's entourage, but have since left his inner circle, confirmed details of the report. They say that Kelly manipulates young girls and controls nearly every aspect of their lives, once they agree to live at one of his homes. He monitors their cell phones and social media usage, makes them address him as "Daddy," and only lets them wear baggy jogging suits around other men.
They also say that Kelly films their sexual encounters, which he then shows to his male friends. It is all part of a pattern, according to the women, in which Kelly seduces young girls, often in their teens, with promises of professional help. That leads inevitably to a sexual relationship and "mind control."
“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet,” said one of the three women, Asante McGee. “But Robert is the devil.”
UPDATE: A spokesman for Kelly issued a statement to TMZ:
Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.
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