R. Kelly denies accusations he’s holding young women in a ‘cult’

(ABC News)
(ABC News)

(ABC NEWS) – R&B singer R. Kelly is denying a report that contains allegations that he is holding several young women in a “cult.”

In a Buzzfeed report published Monday, parents of two of the women claim the 50-year-old singer is preventing their daughters — both over the age of consent –- from coming home and is keeping them in residences he rents in Illinois and Georgia.

Kelly’s attorney, Linda Mensch, denied the allegations.

In a statement to ABC News, she wrote, “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”

In the report, the two women’s parents say they have had limited contact with their daughters and have reached out to police and the FBI but have been told that the women are legally free to engage in consensual relationships. In Illinois, the age of consent is 17. It is 16 in Georgia. One of the women is 21, and the other is at least 19, as she was 17 when she met Kelly in April 2015.

In a press conference today, the father of one of the women, Timothy Savage, said his daughter is “being held against her will.”

“I don’t know what type of shape she’s in. Last time I saw my daughter, she was in horrible condition,” he said, adding he believes she has Stockholm Syndrome.

“We just want him to release her and let her go and live her life because he’s affected too many young girls over the years,” added his wife, Jonjelyn Savage. “I just want her home.”

The woman came forward on Monday in an interview with TMZ.com to say she’s “in a happy place with [her] life and [she’s] not being brainwashed,” and she’s “totally fine.” She said did not want to discuss her location and did not want to discuss whether she was with other roommates or free to go.

Johns Creek Police in the Atlanta suburb told ABC News’ Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV that they performed a welfare check on the 21-year-old woman last December upon her mother’s request.

A police spokesman said the police were unable to make contact with the woman but there is nothing more they can do because “she is not in any danger and she is not a missing person.” He added that the police do not believe a crime has been committed.

No charges were pursued after the December welfare check.

In another welfare check on the same woman at the request of her parents, this time in January 2017 in Illinois, the police were able to visit the woman and reported she was “in good health with no visible injuries or markings.” Police said the woman told them that “she was fine and did not want to be bothered with her parents.”

In 2008, Kelly was acquitted on 14 counts of child pornography that stemmed from a 2002 videotape prosecutors say showed Kelly engaging in graphic sexual acts with a girl as young as 13 at the time. Both Kelly and the alleged victim denied they were the ones on the tape and neither testified during the trial.

Kelly won a Grammy in 1997 for “I Believe I Can Fly,” and is known for hits such as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Ignition,” as well as for “Trapped in the Closet,” a multipart saga about the sexual secrets of an ever-expanding cast of characters.

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