Damage control has begun in the wake of a BuzzFeed News article about allegations of abuse against R. Kelly. Music journalist Jim DeRogatis has long followed both Kelly’s career and personal behavior, which eventually resulted in DeRogatis breaking the story that the R&B singer was allegedly having sex with underage girls. Yesterday, DeRogatis released another in-depth piece about Kelly’s purported predilections, only this time, the allegations centered on women who were reportedly being held hostage in one of the singer’s two homes. Some of the women’s parents claim that Kelly is physically and emotionally abusive to their daughters, whom he met when they were in their late teens and has allegedly been grooming ever since. These women are now age 18 to 26, but Kelly allegedly will not let them have any contact with their families, or really any semblance of autonomy.
Kelly’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, was contacted by DeRogatis and BuzzFeed News for the article, at which time she tried to tut-tut over the allegations and point everyone towards Kelly’s philanthropy. But as the damning story gained traction yesterday, she released another statement on his behalf, claiming Kelly is “alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations,” and that he “unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
After the parents of one of the women allegedly being held captive held a press conference in Atlanta yesterday, she came forward to deny that there’s anything illegal going on in Kelly’s homes. Jocelyn Savage sat down for a short, on-camera interview with TMZ, to refute her parents’ claims that she has Stockholm syndrome, and that’s one of the reasons why she can’t leave Kelly. Savage, who states her age while on camera, says she’s “happy” and definitely not “being brainwashed.” When asked point-blank if she’s being held against her will, she says no. While she says she has no idea why her parents would say she’s being held hostage, it’s enough to make her cut off contact with them. Savage says they’ve “been causing problems in [her] life,” and repeats her age, though she doesn’t mention how old she was when her relationship with Kelly began. She said she was no longer in Atlanta, though she wouldn’t give her new location. Savage also declined to comment on whether she has roommates, or is able to leave the house.