Victims give a traumatic insight into 'daddy' R. Kelly's alleged 'sex cult'
Numerous women have accused the singer of operating a sex cult in his Georgia and Chicago homes. Several women have recounted experiences of physical and verbal abuse at the cult.
R. Kelly's fame in the past few years has somewhat reduced. He's no longer basking in the success of hits like 'I Believe I Can Fly' and 'Trapped in the Closet' but he is still a commanding presence in the music industry. The singer, who rose to fame with the R&B group, Public Announcement, is looked upon as an icon who can kickstart hopeful female musicians' dream of making it in the industry.
One among them is a 19-year-old from Texas, who claims that Kelly gave her an STD without informing her and had her drugged during their brief nine-month relationship that took place between June 2017 and February 2018.
Kelly's alleged victim said she lived with the singer at his residence where she was given alcohol, illegal drugs and was unlawfully restrained. Her lawyer Lee Merritt told The Washington Post that these instances took place as the 19-year-old was being groomed to be part of the singer's alleged sex cult.
Merritt added that her client was "gradually introduced the cult...over the course of their relationship, culminating with an explanation that she would have to sign a contract and offer collateral information about herself and her family for Kelly’s protection."
To be sure, this isn't the first time that the words sex cult have been associated with Kelly. Numerous women have accused the singer of operating a sex cult in his Georgia and Chicago residences.
Recently, however, he was handed an eviction notice from his Atlanta home but according to various accounts, he houses many women in his Chicago residence. Several women have recounted experiences of physical and verbal abuse at the cult where the women are called babies and he is referred to as daddy.
It's hard to say when Kelly started the sex cult but women, all above the legal age of consent, have found a place there after having met him at a party on his tour bus, or backstage at one of his performances. During most of these encounters, Kelly would give his phone number and send them flirtatious texts, making the women believe that he's in love with them.
Such was the experience of a 17-year-old teenager from Florida, who met him at Funk Fest in Orlando in 2015. The aspiring singer maintained a secret relationship with Kelly until one day, she didn't return from school and informed her parents that she met Kelly at his hotel instead. Soon enough, she started living with him and her parents only received a text from her once every few weeks.
Those in Kelly's inner circle said the women who join the sex cult live altered lives once they start living with him. According to a BuzzFeed article, Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee, who belonged to his trusted circle, said the women are assigned rooms and aren't allowed to have much contact with the outside world.
They added that six women lived in his Atlanta and Chicago properties as of 2016 and the singer dictated every part of their lives including what they ate, what they wore, when they took a shower, slept, and how to engage in sexual encounters that would satisfy him.
Jheronda Pace, who was once a part of the sex cult, told The Real, that a female trainer gave lessons on how to please the 51-year-old singer. Pace added, "The trainer, it’s a woman, she trains you to please him sexually. She taught me how to please him, she also taught me what I liked." However, women rarely have sexual autonomy when they become part of Kelly's entourage of women.
Kelly dictates their sex lives — sometimes forcing one woman to perform oral sex on the other while he films it. Most times, he films his sexual encounters and shares it with the men in his inner circle, BuzzFeed claimed. Any act of resistance on part of the women would result in physical and verbal abuse so severe that most women clam up and become passive subjects in sexual encounters that they would otherwise object to.
At other times, they are required to ask his permission for even the smallest movement around the residence.
Kelly's ex-girlfriend, Kitti Jones told Rolling Stones that she had to text him or a member of his staff if she needed to use the restroom. She could go only after receiving their permission. Restrictions in Kelly's sex cult manifested in other ways too.
Women were only allowed to wear jogging suits as he feared other men's prying eyes on them. When they appeared in front of his trusted group of male friends, they were asked to stand facing the wall so that other men wouldn't look at them.
According to various women's accounts, they found a way to get out of the sex cult by making up an excuse. Pace said she had to collect a few things from her uncle's house down the road and never returned.
Similarly, Jones said she had to meet her son and found her freedom. In her interview with Rolling Stone, she said Kelly physically assaulted her when he saw her again at a performance in Dallas.
"I walked on the bus and I was like, 'Hey daddy!' And I went to go hug him and he was like, 'Bitch, I'm not giving you shit' and he was just attacking me," she said.
So far, Kelly's camp has denied operating a sex cult but several women have come forward with stories that stand contrary to what he's said. Kelly's alleged sex cult has never been part of a police investigation however, the singer has been involved in several lawsuits for sexual misconduct.
In 2003, he was arrested after a 26-minute-video of him having sex with a 15-year-old surfaced. He was heard asking her to call him daddy and then, peeing in her mouth. However, he was acquitted in 2008 as the jury couldn't establish Kelly's presence with certainty.
Even as the women in his alleged sex cult have found their way out of his grips, some of them are still struggling to get on with a normal life.
Most of them haven't pressed charges against the singer but the 19-year-old's complaint with the Dallas police could pave the way for an investigation into Kelly's alleged sexual assault.
According to Dallas News, the police are already investigating her claims that Kelly, "knowingly and intentionally" transmitted an STD while she lived with him. In this context, McGee's observation of the singer could provide some insight. "R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet but Robert is the devil."