Allegations of sexual misconduct have arguably been as big a part of R. Kelly's career as his music, with the issue being covered for more than 20 years. Now one of the singer's alleged victims has spoken to Rolling Stone about her traumatic two-year relationship with Kelly.
Kitti Jones, former radio DJ on local Dallas, Texas station 97.9 The Beat, said she first met Kelly at a concert afterparty in 2011 and later settled into a relationship with the singer. Jones recalled quitting her job and moving to Chicago to live with Kelly. In the course of their relationship, she claims the singer physically beat her and controlled many aspects of her life. "If you disclose your relationship with him [to another woman] – how long you've known him or whatever – you can get beat," she said. In one account, Jones said Kelly put hands on her after she asked him about the infamous sex tape that led to his 2003 arrest for child pornography (he was acquitted in trial). "I was putting my hand over my face and telling him I was sorry," Jones stated. "He would start kicking me, telling me I was a stupid bitch [and] don't ever get in his business."
While disclosing details of sexual abuse, Jones said she was coerced into having sex with other women. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, I didn't want to do it and I would tell him I didn't want to do it," she claimed, also noting that she once vomited after performing oral sex on another one of Kelly's girlfriends. "You just become numb to what's happening. It's so traumatic the things that he makes you do to other people and to him," she shared.
According to Jones, her goal with her interview with RS is to get people to listen. "I want them to not be so dismissive towards the women that are speaking out. We're not just rolling over out of bed and saying, 'Hmm, let me just make up a story about R. Kelly today. Let me make it sound similar to something that he's already been accused of and put my own remix to it just [because] I want some attention.' [Anyone who has spoken out] has gotten annihilated in the press [and] from fans."
In a statement to Rolling Stone, a representative for Kelly denied the claims. "Mr. Kelly is aware of the repeated and now evolving claims of [Ms. Jones]," the singer's representative wrote in a statement. "It is unfortunate that Ms. Jones, after public statements to the contrary, is now attempting to portray a relationship history with Mr. Kelly as anything other than consensual involvement between two adults. As stated previously, Mr. Kelly does not control the decision-making or force the actions of any other human being, including Ms. Jones, by her own admission. Any claim of wrongdoing of any kind or of mistreatment of any woman by him is false, ill-motived and defamatory."
Sexual misconduct accusations against R. Kelly have been a constant in his career, dating back to his 1994 marriage to a then 15-year-old Aaliyah. Since then, the singer has been tied to a litany of allegations. In 1996, the R&B singer was hit with a $10 million lawsuit by an aspiring singer who claimed to have had a four-year sexual relationship with Kelly that started in 1991, when she was 15, and ended in 1994, when she was 18 (the case was then settled out of court for an undisclosed amount in 1998). In 2001, a former intern at Epic Records filed a suit against the singer for allegedly encouraging her "into an indecent sexual relationship" when she was 17. Then there's the now-infamous 2002 sex tape, anonymously acquired by Jim DeRogatis, a reporter and music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, that allegedly shows Kelly engaging in sex with an underaged girl.
The headlines returned this past summer, when a Buzzfeed article accused Kelly of holding several women in an "abusive" sex cult. The story detailed how Kelly held six women in homes where 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."
Read the Rolling Stone story with Kitti Jones here.