R Kelly has been holding women hostage against their will, according to an explosive article by Buzzfeed published Monday.
According to the report titled “The Pied Piper of R&B’s 'Cult'”, the R&B legend has been using his fame, money and power to groom and manipulate women to leave all aspects of their lives behind and come live with him.
The report was put together by Jim Derogatis, the dogged Chicago-based reporter who has covered R Kelly and his sexual misconduct towards young black women for nearly 20 years. Here is what we know:
Is It A Cult?
R Kelly is holding up to six women, between the ages of 19 and 31, in his rented properties in Atlanta and his native Chicago. He controls every aspect of their lives including “what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records,” Buzzfeed reports.
Years of Grooming
The older women of the group have been with R Kelly for years. The "den mother", for example, is said to be the 31-year-old best friend of the girl who appeared in the now infamous video that landed R Kelly in court.
But the youngest of the girls are always of legal age by the time they move in with him---even if he met them when they were under the age of consent.
The parents of these girls knew about R Kelly’s sexual misconduct history, but still decided to take the risk in getting to know him because they wanted their daughters to enter the music industry. Some never took the charges against him seriously, seeing his previous acquittals as proof of his innocence.
“In the back of our minds, we were thinking [my daughter] could be around him if I was with her,” J., the mother of one of the missing girl's said. “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.”
A Jealous R Kelly
R Kelly does not like for his "babies," as he calls them, to attract the attention of other men. He becomes physically and verbally abusive when he considers their interactions with other men too friendly.
“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet,” a former employee said. “But Robert is the devil.”
Decades Of Misconduct And Beating The Law
The report also documents RKelly’s long history of predatorial behavior towards young black women, citing numerous cases and complaints. It also gives a glimpse at how he has been able to avoid prosecution.
Although the girls’ parents say that their daughters are being held against there will, the law says otherwise. Parents of the girls have tried to use law enforcement, including the FBI, to intervene. But the results have been disappointing
Former Employees Speak
The main sources in the story are former employees of RKelly, who often helped create this secret life of his. They also gave insight to how R Kelly grooms the girls over time.
Social Media Is Not Shocked
Many took to social media to relay their lack of surprise at the new report. But some hoped that this time, R Kelly would not get away with the allegations as he has for years.
We'll keep you updated.