The singer R. Kelly has denied claims that he keeps a household of young women in a “cult” atmosphere. The 50-year-old has been accused of running a “cult” of young aspiring female musicians, living in a series of houses in Atlanta and Chicago, and forbidden from using their own mobile phones. Two sets of parents have gone to the police to try and win back their daughters, who approached the 50-year-old with the aim of furthering their music careers, and ended up estranged from their families. The police have investigated, but the girls insist they are in love with Kelly. And, as they are over the age of consent, there is nothing that law enforcement can do. Kelly’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, defended the singer. “Mr Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him,” she said, in a statement emailed to The Telegraph.
As per TMZ, a rep for Kelly stated the following: “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.” Buzzfeed News has reported that the parents of a 19-year-old girl had tried to launch an investigation into the matter, fearing for their daughter’s life.
Chicago-born Kelly, best known for the hit I Believe I Can Fly, was sexually abused by men and women, including relatives, from the age of seven to 15. When he was 27 he married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, lying on the marriage certificate to say she was 18. He has been tried for child pornography, and found not guilty on all accounts.
“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him,” Mensch wrote in the statement, according to TMZ. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
Earlier today, BuzzFeed published an explosive story alleging that R. Kelly leads what parents describe as a “cult” of young women who live with him and are not allowed to contact their families and friends. The story–by Jim DeRogatis, who has been reporting on Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct for years–alleges that Kelly emotionally manipulates and physically abuses the women, some of whom are aspiring musicians who entered the musician’s orbit because they believed he would help their careers. The youngest of the women in the story began communicating with Kelly when she was 17 and moved into one of his rental properties as soon as she reached the legal age of consent.
According to the report, Kelly imposes strict rules of conduct on young women, including restrictions on their ability to contact others. (July 17, 2017) According to the report, Kelly imposes strict rules of conduct on young women, including restrictions on their ability to contact others. (July 17, 2017)
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.” The allegations Kelly is facing are just another among a long and disturbing list.
On Monday afternoon, after the report was published, the family of one of Kelly’s alleged victims held a press conference where they accused the singer of holding their 21-year-old daughter against her will. “Stockholm syndrome, that’s what my daughter has right now,” the father of the girl said. Her mother added, “My daughter is severely brainwashed; she’s brainwashed to the point where she says anything he asks her to say. She’s not the same that we knew.”