(Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images)

BuzzFeed News has just shared another potentially damning development in Jim DeRogatis’ ongoing coverage of R. Kelly’s questionable relationships with minors, including an alleged cult. Following last month’s exposé, in which multiple young women and their parents alleged that Kelly had and has been sexually and emotionally abusing his victims in his Chicago and Atlanta homes, the singer’s lawyer issued a terse statement categorically denying the investigative reports. Kelly’s attorney said they’d work “diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name,” but they’ll be back on the defensive now that BuzzFeed is exclusively reporting that one of his alleged victims has come forward to say that she not only had sex with him while she was underage, but he paid her to keep quiet about the encounters.

Jerhonda Pace, now 24 years old, claims she first met R. Kelly at 15 (outside of a courthouse, no less), and they had sex for the first time when she was 16. She says the singer knew she was only 16 at the time because she showed him her ID; R. Kelly allegedly didn’t think it was a big deal, but suggested she tell people she was 19 and “act like she’s 25.” Pace claims they had sex on multiple other occasions, with Kelly occasionally giving her alcohol and frequently asking her to dress like a schoolgirl, pigtails and all, while calling him “Daddy.”

Advertisement

This is all really disturbing, which is why Pace said she had to come forward—she’s worried about a friend of hers, who she brought into Kelly’s “circle,” and who may still be living at one of Kelly’s homes, where the alleged victims have to ask permission to bathe or go to the bathroom. “If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that’s what I will do,” Pace told DeRogatis. “I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him. He’s brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson.” She continued: “I just really hope I can help these women out. Kelly needs to be stopped.”

Pace joins the growing group of women speaking out against R. Kelly, but in addition to her claims, she’s providing all kinds of proof of payoffs from the singer. BuzzFeed News has gone over the documentation, including non-disclosure agreements and “a probate court document opening an estate for Pace as the result of a civil settlement, and a subsequent payment made by Kelly’s management company to Pace.” Kelly’s settled “numerous” suits with young women over the years, according to Susan E. Loggans, the Chicago attorney who represented them. As of this writing, Kelly hadn’t responded to the latest bombshell.