(TIML TEA) Following recent reports that R. Kelly is holding multiple women in an “abusive cult,” a petition has surfaced online calling on Kelly’s label Sony to drop the R&B artist. At the time this post was published, the petition already had more than 15,000 supporters and was just short of its goal of getting 16,000 signatures.
This latest accusation against Kelly is just one more in a long line of similar accusations. The Care2 petition recognizes this and calls on Sony to drop Kelly “for habitually preying on teenage girls for the past 25 years.” The petition specifically mentions R. Kelly’s illegal marriage to a then-15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 as well as his 2002 indictment “on 14 counts of child pornography.” The petition also points to other “serial sexual predators” such as Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and Dr. Luke and urges supporters to consider why society gives these men “a pass” and continues to allow them to “float above justice simply because they are rich and famous.”
As BuzzFeed News originally reported on Monday, R. Kelly is allegedly holding women hostage in a “cult” in his homes in Chicago and Atlanta. The women’s parents claimed their daughters have been “brainwashed.” Three former members of the artist’s entourage confirmed the accusations by providing similar stories.
Two parents, identified only as “J” and Tim, claim their then-19-year-old daughter was invited backstage at a 2015 R. Kelly show, where the artist promised to help her with her music career. Since then, her parents have not seen her and have only heard from her through sporadic text messages. J and Tim’s daughter is allegedly one of many women involved in the alleged “cult.”
Additionally, former members of R. Kelly’s “inner circle” claim that the artist “controls every aspect” of these women’s lives, including what they eat and “how they engage in sexual encounters.” Should they break any of his strict rules, they are allegedly reprimanded “both physically and verbally.”
The woman was not identified in the BuzzFeed report, but after the report started reverberating around the internet, she spoke to TMZ to give her side of the story. 21-year-old Jocelyn Savage denied she is being held against her will and said she is “in a happy place with my life.” She added that she is not “brainwashed or anything like that.” She also asked her dad to stop embarrassing her and their family, claiming what he is doing is “a complete disaster.”
“I just want everybody to know, my parents and everybody in the world, that I am totally fine,” she said.
For his part, Kelly has denied the claims made against him. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name,” Linda Mensch, Kelly’s lawyer, said in a statement on Monday. More as this develops