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R. Kelly is pushing back against a BuzzFeed report that he’s holding a number of young women against their will as part of an “abusive cult” at his rented homes.
In a statement issued Monday, the R&B star denied the report.
“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him,” a statement issued by the singer’s spokesman and published by TMZ reads. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
The piece describes in detail emotional and sexual manipulation, as well as purported mental and physical abuse, which includes “punishments” for breaking Kelly’s “rules.”
“Three former members of Kelly’s inner circle — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee — provided details supporting the parents’ worst fears,” the lengthy article reads in part. “They said six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and 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.”
The BuzzFeed report, published Monday, added that “Mack, Jones, and McGee claim that women who live with Kelly, who he calls his ‘babies,’ are required to call him ‘Daddy’ and must ask his permission to leave the Chicago recording studio or their assigned rooms in the “guest house” Kelly rents near his own rented mansion in suburban Atlanta. A black SUV with a burly driver behind the wheel is almost always parked outside both locations. Kelly confiscates the women’s cell phones, they said, so they cannot contact their friends and family; he gives them new phones that they are only allowed to use to contact him or others with his permission. Kelly films his sexual activities, McGee and Jones said, and shows the videos to men in his circle.”
An attorney for the singer told BuzzFeed that Kelly is being defamed.
“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,” the attorney, Linda Mensch, said. “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.”