R. Kelly has groomed, imprisoned and ‘trained’ numerous young and often vulnerable women to be his sex slaves, a harrowing docu-series has claimed.
The 52-year-old rapper has set up a ‘cult’ of young women – largely picked out of the crowd at his shows – who he abuses and keeps hostage for his own sexual gratification, according to TV series Surviving R. Kelly, which premiered in the US last week.
R. Kelly – real name Robert Sylvester Kelly – threatened to sue Lifetime if it aired the show and denies all accusations.
Chillingly dubbed The Pied Piper of R&B, he is now being investigated by police in Georgia and Atlanta, where he has homes.
From keeping the women locked up with only a bucket to use as a toilet to forcing them to perform degrading and depraved group sex acts, here’s how his alleged victims have described life in the ‘cult’.
Divorced single mum, DJ Kitti Jones, claims she was groomed, imprisoned and sexually abused by the rapper after they met at one of his shows in June 2011.
On their first meeting, she claims he barged through the door of her hotel room and masturbated on the sofa before ‘training’ her to give oral sex.
“He was like a drill sergeant even when he was pleasuring me. He was telling me how to bend my back or move my leg here. I’m like, ‘Why is he directing it like this?’ It was very uncomfortable. But he tried to make me feel special about [the trip]. Like, ‘If I didn’t really like you, I wouldn’t have done that, and I wouldn’t even be wasting my time flying you out, and I respect you,'” she told Rolling Stone in 2017.
He also allegedly dropped disturbing hints about mysterious girls he had ‘raised’, and told Kitti he would only introduce her when she was ‘mentally ready’.
According to Kitti, he convinced her to quit work and move into his Chicago apartment by offering to pay double her salary.
And once there she says she was banned from talking and looking at his male employees; forced to text Kelly her every movement and to wear baggy sweatpants when out so as not to look attractive.
Their relationship apparently turned violent when she confronted Kelly about the video at the centre of his 2008 child pornography trial, which allegedly showed him urinating into the mouth of a 14-year-old.
Kelly was acquitted on all charges because the identity of the female could not be established, and Kitti claimed he “turned into a monster” when she brought it up – kicking and slapping her in the first of an alleged 10 assaults in the first year alone.
In 2013 he moved her out of his main home and into a flat attached to his recording studio in Trump Towers to make way for what she now believes was a new girlfriend.
There she says she was confined to her room and ordered to text his staff if she needed food or the toilet. Kelly would allegedly take her phone away as punishment, with Kitti claiming she once went two and a half days without eating.
Unbeknown to her at that point, other girls were also apparently being held under similar conditions in different rooms of the apartment.
The darkest chapter of Kitti’s alleged ordeal began in March 2013, when Kelly allegedly brought in a naked woman and ordered her to perform oral sex on Kitti, telling her, “I raised her. I’ve trained this b**ch. This is my pet.’”
From then on, Kitti claims he forced her to have sex with women he would fly in, and that she would be punished if she refused.
She vomited after performing oral sex on one of his girlfriends because she felt so demeaned, but said the worst moment was when Kelly allegedly urinated on two women while she and them performed a sex act on him.
According to the DJ, Kelly recorded everything and sometimes made her give him oral sex while he watched footage of other girls he’d forced to have sex on his iPad.
“It was just a game for him. He just went back and forth [on them] when he was peeing and told [another girlfriend] to clean it up afterwards. That was the worst that I’ve ever seen,” she said.
Kelly’s rep has rubbished Kitti’s claims that the sex and day-to-day running of their two-year relationship was anything other than consensual.
The spokesperson said: “Mr. Kelly is aware of the repeated and now evolving claims of [Ms. Jones]. It is unfortunate that Ms. Jones, after public statements to the contrary, is now attempting to portray a relationship history with Mr. Kelly as anything other than consensual involvement between two adults.
“As stated previously, Mr. Kelly does not control the decision-making or force the actions of any other human being, including Ms. Jones, by her own admission. Any claim of wrongdoing of any kind or of mistreatment of any woman by him is false, ill-motived and defamatory.”
Another alleged victim is Dominique Gardner, who was a braces-wearing teen before she met R. Kelly in 2009.
By the time her mother, Michelle Kramer, managed to track her down in the docu-series, Kelly had allegedly singled her out to become his ‘boy toy’, shaving her hair and dressing her in boys clothes.
“She’s a little tomboyish, and Robert plays on that, so he has molded her into the boy he wants her to be,” a former employee said.
“So he’s had her shave all her hair off, he has her carry herself like a boy. He’s even had her dress in boy clothes and paint a beard and a mustache on, to look like a boy. He treats her like his boy toy.”
The series saw Michelle rescue Dominique from a hotel, only for her daughter to return to Kelly three days later. She is now back at home with her mum.
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