According to BuzzFeed News, R. Kelly is running an abusive cult, holding at least six women against their will and sexually and emotionally manipulating them. Parents of some of the victims spoke with the news outlet.
J. and Tim say their 19-year-old daughter is among Kelly's victims. They say the last time they saw her on December 1, 2016, "It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible. I hugged her and hugged her. But she just kept saying she’s in love and [Kelly] is the one who cares for her. I don’t know what to do. I hope that if I get her back, I can get her treatment for victims of cults. They can reprogram her. But I wish I could have stopped it from happening.”
Kelly's former employees Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee added that they saw the singer slap one of the women in his cult. Apparently, she spoke too nicely to a cashier at Subway - which violated one the Kelly's rules. According to McGee, “R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet...But Robert is the devil.”
“He left [one of the women] on the [tour] bus for, like, three days and she was not allowed to come out,” McGee added. "He said she didn’t do her homework — that’s why she was punished — which was very confusing, because she had just graduated [high school] over the summer.”
The parents say they are doing everything in their power to bring them back home. Unfortunately, the women are not considered "missing" in the eyes of the law because of their legal ages. Authorities say adults can live wherever they choose, no matter how unconventional the living circumstances may be.
Kelly's attorney issued a statement that reads: “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life. He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”
Read the entire investigative piece about Kelly's "cult," which includes audio of his conversations with one his victims, here.
Photo Credit: Getty Images