R. Kelly has been accused of hosting an abusive cult where he manipulates young women into living on his property and only eating, bathing, leaving and having sex with him on his orders. Buzzfeed made the shocking revelations on Monday morning when it published a thorough report entitled “Inside the Pied Piper of R&B’s ‘Cult’.”
The feature story highlights parents who helped foster what they believed was a professional relationship between their daughter, who was an aspiring R&B singer, and Kelly. After their daughter started to change, their suspicions arose. Bu it was already too late as they found that their daughter had been “brainwashed.”
“In the back of our minds, we were thinking [my daughter] could be around him if I was with her,” said J. – Buzzfeed chose to not run the legal names of the parents or daughter. “It didn’t really hit home. Even with the Aaliyah situation, now that I think about it, ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number’ … but you don’t think about that. You grew up with the song, and you like the song.”
The parents are now fighting to bring their daughter back home with evidence they found on their own. Unfortunately, police haven’t gotten involved because – according to the law – she’s willingly living with Kelly.
These accusations against Kelly have been corroborated by multiple people who used to work with him closely – Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee. They told Buzzfeed that Kelly has six women that live among his properties in Atlanta and the Chicago suburbs where Kelly has taken all control away from them.
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J. and her husband Tim haven’t seen their daughter since Dec. 2016 and have only heard from her twice since then via text message.
“It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” she said. “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 piece goes on to detail multiple instances where Kelly used predatory tactics to manipulate women into cutting ties with their families and devoting their entire lives to him. He even took away their cell phones and gave them new ones they could only use to contact him.
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Each accusation against Kelly is more shocking than the last. For example, he apparently records his sexual escapades with these women and shows the footage to men in his inner circle. He also demands the women wear loose fitting clothes to hide their body shapes and verbally and physically punishes them if they break the “rules” and interact with another man.
The claims made in this piece are horrific and only highlight Kelly’s long history of being a sexual predator. Not only did he file for marriage with the then-15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, but he’s settled numerous civil suits by women who accused him of sexual assault in the past. This doesn’t include the trial he went on in 2008 where he was acquitted on 14 counts of making child pornography.
As the news of these claims Broke, the public has been quick to respond. Plenty of justified shade is being thrown towards the “Separate the art from the artist” crowd and whispers of similar instances are making their ways through circles who have crossed paths with the 50-year-old R&B singer. Sadly, from a legal standpoint, there currently isn’t much that can be done. Perhaps the detailed exposé will add pressure to change that.
The most disappointing aspect of all of this is that we’ve already been here before. But people are so willing to look the other way when it comes to artists they’re fans of being sexual predators that Kelly has been able to continue his actions for years. Hopefully this is the end of a long, unfortunate saga.