R&B singer R Kelly de­nies hold­ing women cap­tive

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

R&B star R Kelly on Mon­day de­nied ex­plo­sive al­le­ga­tions that he was hold­ing women in vir­tual slav­ery with con­trol over all aspects of their lives. The 50-year-old singer-whose smooth voice has pro­duced years of hits in­clud­ing "I Be­lieve I Can Fly"-said he was "alarmed and dis­turbed" by the charges. "Mr Kelly un­equiv­o­cally de­nies such ac­cu­sa­tions and will work dili­gently and forcibly to pur­sue his ac­cusers and clear his name," his lawyer, Linda Men­sch, said in a state­ment.

Buz­zFeed News ear­lier Mon­day pub­lished a re­port say­ing that six women lived in a house near At­lanta and a stu­dio in Chicago where Kelly held power over their di­ets, cloth­ing and sex­ual en­coun­ters, which he would record. The par­ents of one al­leged vic­tim held a news con­fer­ence out­side the res­i­dence near At­lanta and said their 21-year-old daugh­ter had cut off con­tact. "My daugh­ter is se­verely brain­washed," mother Jon­je­lyn Sav­age said. "We just want him to re­lease her and let her go on with her life," she told re­porters.

The daugh­ter, Jo­ce­lyn Sav­age, de­nied co­er­cion in a video in­ter­view with gos­sip site TMZ. "I only want to say that I am in a happy place with my life and I'm not be­ing brain­washed or any­thing like that," she said, while de­clin­ing to an­swer more de­tailed ques­tions about her con­di­tions. She said that she had not spo­ken to her par­ents as their al­le­ga­tions had caused a rift. Kelly-who lives par­tially at the Trump Tower in his na­tive Chicago-is one of the most suc­cess­ful R&B singers of re­cent years but has been re­peat­edly hit by scan­dal.

In 2008, he was ac­quit­ted of charges of child pornog­ra­phy af­ter the Chicago Sun-Times re­ported that it had a video of the singer in­volved in sex­ual acts with an un­der­age girl. Buz­zFeed News, which quoted peo­ple close to Kelly, de­scribed him as a cult-like fig­ure and said that women al­legedly un­der his spell in­cluded as­pir­ing mu­si­cians. Kitti Jones, said to be a for­mer mem­ber of Kelly's in­ner cir­cle, said the singer once held her against a tree and slapped her out­side a restau­rant of the sand­wich chain Sub­way af­ter he felt she was too friendly with the cashier.

Ch­eryl Mack, de­scribed as Kelly's for­mer per­sonal as­sis­tant, said the singer in­sisted that the women wear jog­ging suits and face the wall when other men could see them. Kelly "is a master of mind con­trol," Mack was quoted as say­ing. But the re­port said that po­lice have looked into al­le­ga­tions and not taken ac­tion as the women are of le­gal age and are seen as in con­sen­sual re­la­tion­ships. —


This file photo shows singer R Kelly at­tend­ing the Ova­dia & Sons front row dur­ing New York Fash­ion Week: Men’s S/S 2016 at Sky­light Clark­son Sq in New York City. —

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