R. Kelly is facing a new round of accusations of sexual misconduct by parents of several women over the age of consent who contend that he is holding their daughters as sex slaves, according to a BuzzFeed report.
On Monday (July 17), the 50-year-old singer released a statement through his attorney Linda Mensch, just hours after the explosive allegations surfaced.
“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him,” a representative told TMZ in a statement.
“Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
The Buzzfeed report, which was written by Jim DeRogatis, includes the stories of concerned parents who are convinced the R&B star has brainwashed their daughters, who got closer to him in an effort to boost their musical careers, and is now holding them against their will.
The report, which quoted three unnamed sets of parents, said they had not seen or spoken with their daughters for months, and that the women, all of them over the age of consent, had their routines controlled by the singer.
The sources claimed R. Kelly has housed six women in Atlanta and Chicago, where he dictates every aspect of their lives, including rules about what they could eat and wear, when to bath and sleep and and “how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”
Three women identified as former members of R. Kelly’s inner circle, who were also interviewed DeRogatis, accuse R. Kelly of exerting “mind control” over the women who are staying in those residences.
If they broke the “rules”, they said, the women could be punished physically and verbally by the singer, according to the report.
Some of the parents reported their concerns to the police, but the women said they were not being held against their will.
Since 2000, Kelly has been at the center of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors, with dozens of women claiming that the singer ruined their lives. A videotape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old surfaced years ago, but the singer was acquitted in 2008 on 14 charges of making child pornography.
In 2015, when asked by HuffPost how the allegations might impact his album sales, R. Kelly refused to answer and walked off the set.
In response to the BuzzFeed report, Kelly’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, defended the singer as “a great artist who … takes care of all of the people in his 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 of the people in his life,” Mensch wrote.
“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.”
R. Kelly is one of the most successful R&B artists of all time, with 40 million records sold worldwide. His best known his include “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix).”