UPDATE: R. Kelly’s attorney, Linda Mensch told Pitchfork in a statement: “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
One family thought that R. Kelly would help their daughter's fledgling music career but they now allege that the R&B veteran is keeping the 19-year-old in an abusive cult. According to BuzzFeedNews, parents J. and Tim met Kelly in May 2015. He took a liking to their singer daughter—whose name was withheld by the news outlet—and took her under his wing. The parents claim that she's being controlled by him and that they haven't seen her in nearly a year.
Three former members of Kelly’s inner circle — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee — allege that the daughter is part of a group of six women (that the singer calls his "babies") that live with and are groomed by Kelly in Chicago and Atlanta. He apparently oversees all parts of their lives from what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe and sleep and even their sexual encounters— which he records. They claim the group of women includes: a 31-year-old “den mother” who “trained” newcomers on how Kelly likes to be pleasured sexually, a 25-year-old woman, a 19-year-old model, an Atlanta songwriter who began seeing Kelly when she was 19 and an 18-year-old singer who Kelly apparently calls his “favorite — his number-one girl.”
J. and Tim have attempted to go to the police and the FBI and police in two states. But the law says she's not a missing person. She's maintained that she's fine but the parents disagree. “It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” J. said about the last time she saw her daughter. “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.”
The parents claim that they have since only received brief text messages from their daughter. On Mother's Day, she apparently sent a message from herself and Kelly: “Happy Mother’s Day from me and Rob.”
The allegations are especially damning given R. Kelly's long history of suspected relations with young women. In addition to his marriage to an underage Aaliyah, the singer was accused of child pornography in 2008. He was acquitted.
[Photo: Getty Images]