R&B singer Robert “R.” Kelly has been accused by three sets of parents of manipulating their daughters and holding them in a “cult,” according to a BuzzFeed News report published on Monday. The parents have repeatedly asked law enforcement to get involved but because of the age of the daughters – all of them are of the age of legal consent – nothing has been done.

The report claims that most of the parents have not seen their daughters in months and that any communication they have had with them has been facilitated and closely monitored by Kelly, who is keeping the women in his guest house in Duluth, Georgia, or his recording studio in Chicago. He has allegedly, swapped their phones for phones issued by the singer.

The journalist who broke the story Jim DeRogatis, who also broke the story of Kelly’s sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 2008, spoke with three associates close to Kelly for the story, all of whom verified the parent’s accusations.

DeRogatis writes that the associates claim that “six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and 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.” Additionally, the report claims that Kelly makes the women call him “daddy” and the women have a set of rules to follow which primarily forbids them from talking with, or even appealing to, other men.


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Kelly has a long history of sexual misconduct claims against him. In 1994, he married Aaliyah, the late singer, when she was 15 years old – Kelly was 27 at the time – but the marriage was quickly annulled less than a year later. Kelly was also charged with 14 counts of making child pornography in 2008 but was acquitted of all charges. Additionally, the BuzzFeed report claims that Kelly has settled “a dozen or more civil lawsuits,” outside of court with cash payments.

According to one of the parents quoted in the report, Kelly has “brainwashed” the women, promising them a career in music and his love, in exchange for their loyalty.

“It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner – it was horrible,” the mother of one of the girls 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.”

Linda Mensch, a lawyer who represents Kelly, told BuzzFeed, that the story was defamatory and that Kelly “deserves a personal life.”

“We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all the people in his life,” Mensch said. “He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”




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