In the wake of reporter Jim DeRogatis’s explosive BuzzFeed story that R. Kelly is allegedly running a “sex cult” that targets young women, the R&B singer released a short video denying the allegations and vowing to continue with his scheduled tour dates.
“Despite all of the crap y’all hearing I will be coming to the East Coast to do my show,” Kelly says. “And believe me, y’all, it’s a bunch of crap.”
The BuzzFeed piece claims that Kelly, who has previously been accused of sexual misconduct on numerous occasions, has at least six young women living in his homes in Chicago and Atlanta, where they are subject to regular physical and emotional abuse. According to two of the women’s families, their daughters are being “held prisoner,” with Kelly “dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.” In the wake of DeRogatis’s article, a woman in Kelly’s inner circle told Jezebel that she believes the women are not being held against their will but have been “brainwashed.” She also claims that one of these women has been with Kelly since she was 14 or 15 and Kelly claims to have “raised her.”
Jocelyn Savage, one of the women allegedly living under Kelly’s control, has denied being held against the will (her parents claim she is a victim of Stockholm syndrome). In prepared public statements, Kelly has denied all allegations and vowed to “pursue his accusers and clear his name.”