R. Kelly is reportedly holding women in an abusive cult

Apparently the artist controls what women eat, when they bathe and records them performing sexual acts

An article has appeared on Buzzfeed today (17 July) detailing R. Kelly’s alleged “cult”, in which a circle of women are ordered to follow Kelly’s rules, and non-compliance is punished with physical and verbal abuse. The article reports that Kelly controls what the women wear, eat, when they sleep, bathe, and how they engage in recorded sexual acts. Phones have been taken away, and permission must be gained for the women to leave their locations – some of which Buzzfeed has identified as Kelly’s Chicago recording studio, a guest house in Duluth, Georgia, and his suburban Atlanta homes.

Parents have reported to the police that the singer has been holding these women hostage, using his fame to create an inner circle of women that goes far beyond groupie culture and into the terrain of abuse, with emotional and sexual manipulation. Furthermore, Cheryl Mack, Kelly’s former personal assistant, has detailed Kelly’s use of control over women.

If men are in the room, Kelly makes the girls “turn around and face the wall in their jogging suits because he doesn’t want them to be looked at by anyone else,” Mack said.

“I got trapped,” a former insider, named Kitti Jones, said. “I had people telling me I was an idiot. But it took me a long time to realise they were right, and I’m talking now because I hope I can help some of these other girls.”

A woman referred to in the article as “J.”, whose daughter is a part of Kelly’s cult, described her last meeting with her daughter. “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. 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.” Kelly had used his status to pretend that he would kickstart her daughter’s musical career.

The artist was last tried in 2008, Illinois, on 14 charges of child pornography. According to Buzzfeed, a dozen or more civil lawsuits have been made against Kelly, in the past, for sexual relationships with underage girls. These cases have been settled with undisclosed cash payments.

While Buzzfeed claim RCA Records publicist Theola Borden declined to provide comment, Chicago civil lawyer named Linda Mensch, who works with Kelly, provided the following statement: “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life,” Mensch wrote via email. “He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”

(via Buzzfeed)