The New Allegations Against R. Kelly, Explained

R Kelly

A number of parents have publicly accused R&B singer R. Kelly of keeping young women at his residences against their will as part of a sex-oriented "cult".

The parents' and alleged victims' identities have been verified by BuzzFeed News, though the subjects asked that their full names not be published out of fear of retaliation. If last year people were making fun of the singer because he had the arm of a young woman of 19 years, things seem much more serious in the light of the revelations of the site.

One of the women is described as an 18-year-old singer from Polk County, Florida. "We called, but he wasn't answering, so we left it alone", she said.

J and her husband are desperate to bring their daughter home and have told police that they're daughter is "being held against her will" in what they described as a "cult", but their daughter insists she is there willingly.

"In the back of our minds, we were thinking [my daughter] could be around him if I was with her", the mother, referred to as J., said. He forces them to face the wall when other men are in the room so no one else will look at them, which is also why he largely has them dress in unflattering tracksuits. "Matters of the heart are a touchy subject".

An interesting footnote and or/twist in BuzzFeed News piece is that it was written by freelance journalist Jim DeRogatis, who was named as a witness in R. Kelly's 2008 child pornography trial (which he was acquitted from).

You can read the investigation in its entirety here. There was also a 31-year-old "den mother" who was there to train the new girls on how to sexually satisfy Kelly; she was apparently the former best friend of the girl in the child sexual assault tape that led to Kelly's child porn charges.

According to Mack, who worked as Kelly's personal assistant while maintaining a sexual relationship with the singer, Kelly forces all of the women living in his properties to wear jogging suits so their figure isn't exposed.

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But the reality is far from luxurious.

"You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom", Mack told Buzzfeed. They say that Kelly manipulates young girls and controls almost every aspect of their lives, once they agree to live at one of his homes.

This would not be the first time Kelly has come under fire for actions against younger women.

"R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet, but Robert is the devil". "[She] looked like a prisoner - it was disgusting", said one mother, identified as J., about her daughter, whom she last saw on December 1, 2016. "Then finally we get a text message saying that she's OK, that she had met up with R. Kelly in his hotel".

Two of those former associates - Kitti Jones and Asante McGee - said they used to live with Kelly and were involved in sexual relationships with the Grammy victor.

She and two reps for Kelly had not responded to Variety's request for comment at press time.

A former member of Kelly's inner circle, Cheryl Mack, has also spoken out about the situation. J. told DeRogatis that she knew of the sexual misconduct allegations against R. Kelly, but figured her daughter would be safe as long as she was around.

For more details on the disturbing allegations against Kelly, find DeRogatis' report here.

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