R. Kelly is being accused of running an abusive “cult,” according to a scathing BuzzFeed report that is going viral.
According to the detailed exposé, Kelly would persuade young women, introduced to him by their parents, by promising to help them with their careers, which would result in him “brainwashing” them. One mother claimed she and her daughter met R. Kelly backstage at a concert in Atlanta. He later invited her to attend another concert, which he paid for. The anonymous mother claims she had heard of Kelly’s past sexual accusations but wasn’t all that concerned.
According to the report, her daughter eventually wound up in Kelly’s alleged cult with other young women who live in his Atlanta or Chicago homes. The “imprisoned” women are only allowed to communicate with him, are required to call him “daddy” and have their sexual encounters with him filmed. He also allegedly abuses them verbally and physically.
“Six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and he 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 that he records,” Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee, Kelly’s former associates, told BuzzFeed.
Still, the young women in the alleged cult refuse to leave. “[She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” one 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.”
Kelly’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, offered this comment,
“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.”
The author of the exposé, Jim Derogatis, called into Fam In The Morning, which is part of HelloBeautiful’s parent company, Urban One, where he spoke about the six teens who are allegedly under Kelly’s control.
“I’ve been on this story since 2000,” he said. “The videotape for which he was indicted, and tried and acquitted in 2008 came to me at home. These parents initially came to me and said, ‘we’ve been to police in two states, we’ve been to the FBI, we’ve been to lawyers. No one can help us because our daughters are legal age and, important to note, they say they want to be where they are. And we want to get our daughters back.”