AP / Spencer Green
The R&B singer R. Kelly is holding six women against their will in an abusive "cult," according to the parents of several of the women and to three former members of Kelly's inner circle, whom BuzzFeed interviewed in an explosive new report.
"Six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs," the report says, citing details from Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee, the three former inner-circle members. "He controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records."
Several of the women's parents have gone to the police to try to get their daughters back. BuzzFeed reports that one Georgia family told police that their daughter was being held in a "cult" by Kelly, who they say is "abusive and is controlling" her.
The mother of that woman told BuzzFeed that her daughter "looked like a prisoner" when she last saw her and acted as if she were "brainwashed" while continually professing her love for Kelly.
A representative for Kelly denied the allegations in a statement provided to BuzzFeed.
Mack, Jones, and McGee told BuzzFeed that five women who lived with Kelly last summer ranged in age from 18 to 31. Kelly confiscates the women's cellphones and makes them ask permission to leave the two locations in Chicago and Atlanta, they said.
The BuzzFeed report says that all six of the women living with Kelly now are of the age of consent in Illinois and Georgia, and notes that consenting adults are free to enter "nontraditional" relationships, but the parents of three of the women are nonetheless fighting to get their daughters back.
Kelly has a history of allegations of sexual misconduct with women. He was acquitted in 2008 of 14 charges of child pornography after a six-year trial, which centered on a videotape that prosecutors alleged showed him having sex with a young girl.