Par­ents claim singer R Kelly is hold­ing their daugh­ters in a ‘cult’

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Har­riet Alexan­der in New York

THE singer R Kelly has been ac­cused of run­ning a “cult” of as­pir­ing fe­male mu­si­cians who live in his res­i­dences in At­lanta and Chicago, and are for­bid­den from us­ing their own mo­bile phones.

Two sets of par­ents have gone to the po­lice to try to win back their daugh­ters, who ap­proached the 50-year-old with the aim of fur­ther­ing their mu­sic ca­reers, and ended up es­tranged from their fam­i­lies. The po­lice have in­ves­ti­gated, but the women in­sist they are in con­sen­sual re­la­tion­ships with Kelly. And, as they are over the age of con­sent, there is noth­ing that law en­force­ment can do.

Chicago-born Kelly, best known for the hit I Be­lieve I Can Fly, was sex­u­ally abused by men and women, in­clud­ing rel­a­tives, from the age of seven to 15.

When he was 27 he mar­ried 15-yearold singer Aaliyah, ly­ing on the mar­riage cer­tifi­cate to say she was 18. He has been tried for child pornog­ra­phy, and found not guilty on all counts. Buz­zfeed spoke to three women who were for­merly part of Kelly’s in­ner cir­cle, and made deeply trou­bling al­le­ga­tions of phys­i­cal and men­tal abuse.

Linda Men­sch, Kelly’s lawyer, de­fended the singer last night. She said: “Mr Robert Kelly is both alarmed and dis­turbed at the re­cent rev­e­la­tions at­trib­uted to him. Mr Kelly un­equiv­o­cally de­nies such al­le­ga­tions and will work dili­gently and forcibly to pur­sue his ac­cusers and clear his name.”

The women in­sist they are in con­sen­sual re­la­tion­ships with Chicago-born singer R Kelly

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