In an explosive investigation by Jim Derogatis, the reporter who broke the 2000 story of a videotape that depicted R. Kelly engaging in sexual acts with underage girls, Kelly is accused of holding women against their will in an abusive "cult."
The disturbing allegations came forward in a 4,800 word Buzzfeed News report, which was published today (July 17). The story is based on interviews with three of Kelly's alleged associates — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee — along with reviews of legal documents, and accounts from some of the parents of six women who are believed to have been recruited by Kelly to live in his rented properties in Chicago and Atlanta, 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."
These victims reportedly include a 25-year old woman who's been part of Kelly's entourage for seven years, a 19-year-old who has been seen with Kelly in public and photos on music gossip outlets, a 26-year-old songwriter from Atlanta who began her relationship with Kelly about eight years ago when she was 19 and an 18-year-old singer from Florida, who Mack describes as Kelly's "favorite — his number one girl." The parents of the latter reportedly contacted police and tell DeRogatis that when the alleged victim's older sister tried to get her out in August 2015, Kelly and his associates physically assaulted her. As per a police report obtained in the story, this incident is described as a "simple battery" and an arrest has yet to be made.
"I have not talked to my daughter in more than a year," the mother said. "We've had deaths in the family, birthdays, and I haven't heard from her and she hasn't been here for any of it. I didn't even hear from her on Mother's Day. All I want to do is bring her home."
The three former staffers allege that Kelly calls these women who live with him his "babies," and that they are required to call him "Daddy" in addition to having to ask permission to leave the Chicago recording studio or their designated rooms. Kelly also allegedly confiscates their cell phones and gave them new ones that they are only allowed to use to call him or others with his permission. McGee and Jones claim that after Kelly films his sexual activities with the women, he shares the videos with men in his inner circle.
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child-pornography charges and has settled several other sexual-abuse lawsuits out of court.
For more on this report, head here.