Controversial R&B singer R. Kelly has been accused of deviant sexual behavior in the past, but a new accusation against him alleges he subjects women to a cult-like relationship, almost to the point of indentured slavery.
Kelly is accused of maintaining a lifestyle that includes “cult” behavior, putting him at the center of power as he dictates what the women in his home can wear, eat, who they communicate with, and their sexual behavior, according to a Buzzfeed report and other reporting media outlets on Monday.
According to Buzzfeed, Kelly houses up to six women at a time in multiple homes. Three women, Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee, claim to have lived under this arrangement and have come forward to report the circumstances.
According to Mack: “You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom… a master at mind control. … He is a puppet master.”
The three women report that a “den mother” recently vacated Kelly’s residence, and Kelly currently lives with two adult women and two teenagers, one who is a 19-year-old model and the other an 18-year-old singer.
One of the older women was reportedly 19 when she met the then 48-year-old Kelly in 2015. Apparently, the young woman thought Kelly could advance her singing career.
After the girl moved in with Kelly, her parents say they lost the ability to contact their daughter, with contact mostly limited to two simple texts, one on Christmas and the other on Mother’s Day. They allegedly read: “I hate Christmas has to be this way this year,” and “Happy Mother’s Day from me and Rob.”
The mother told Buzzfeed she finally saw her daughter on Dec. 1, 2016, and described her as “brainwashed.”
“[She] looked like a prisoner,” the mother recalled. “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.”
The mother reports that if she can get her daughter back, she will seek treatment meant for “victims of cults” so they can “reprogram her.”
According to reports, parents have contacted the FBI and police, but a wellness check last December revealed no problems at Kelly’s residence.
R. Kelly has been accused of rape several times. The most scandalous accusation against the singer was made back in 2008, when Kelly stood trial, accused of child pornography after engaging in a video-taped sexual act with a minor. The video was sent to Jim DeRogatis, a music journalist who has done extensive reporting on R. Kelly over the years.
During an interview DeRogatis did with The Village Voice in 2013, he said, “Rare is the amount of evidence compiled against anyone apart from R. Kelly.” He says “numerous videotapes” were received, and they depict women who carry the “disembodied look of the rape victim.” He says R.Kelly displays “predatory behavior” and ruins lives.
R. Kelly was eventually acquitted of the child pornography charges.
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