R&B singer R. Kelly has denied allegations he is holding several young women in an ‘abusive cult’.
The singer’s lawyer said he would work “diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
A BuzzFeed report accuses the singer of ‘brainwashing’ women, who got close to him in an effort to boost their own music careers.
The report quoted three unnamed sets of parents who said they had ‘not seen or spoken to’ their daughters for months, and said they had their routines ‘controlled’ by the singer.
These included rules about what they could eat and wear, when they were allowed to have a bath and sleep and how to engage in sexual encounters recorded by him, they allege.
One parent, referred to in the report only as ‘J’, hasn’t seen her daughter since 1st December last year.
*sees R. Kelly is trending*
“why would R.Kelly be tr—” pic.twitter.com/Xq5jID8CBA
— Jordyn Miller (@JordynMMiller) July 17, 2017
She told Buzzfeed:
When we got to go backstage with R. Kelly, we stayed there over two hours.
One-on-one with just me and my daughter and him. We went back to talk about the music. He listened to her CD. He was going to help her with her CD, and I was really impressed with him at first, because I have always been an R. Kelly fan.
According to the report, J said she’d heard about past sexual misconduct accusations against R Kelly, but ‘wasn’t overly worried’.
In the back of our minds, we were thinking [my daughter] could be around him if I was with her. 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.
R.Kelly is trending….
*reads why R.kelly is trending* pic.twitter.com/pCxT244dMw
— . (@itsluisagibson) July 17, 2017
J’s daughter isn’t a missing person — at least not in the eyes of the law. She still lives with Kelly and says she’s doing fine, despite her parents telling the police that she is ‘being held against her will’ in what they call a ‘cult’.
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.
The report also hears from three former members of R Kelly’s ‘inner circle’, who said six women lived in properties managed by the singer.
They told BuzzFeed if the girls ‘broke the rules’, they could be punished physically and verbally by the singer.
The singer’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, said in a statement:
Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations.
But BuzzFeed said it is standing by its reporting.
In 2008, R Kelly was acquitted of 14 charges of producing child pornography after a tape emerged allegedly showing him having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
The truth will out eventually, either way.