A documentary series, released last week, gathers statements from some of the singer’s victims. Police study complaints
R&B singer R.Kelly is being investigated by Georgia police for a series of accusations of physical and psychological abuse of his various partners. Although the 52-year-old artist has long denied this type of incrimination, a new documentary series about him – Surviving R. Kelly – gives details that the authorities could not avoid.
In one of the chapters, Asante McGee, one of the alleged victims, walks through one of the interpreter’s expropriations while claiming to have seen women being held against their will. Illegitimate deprivation of liberty is precisely one of the charges with which the prosecution seeks to charge the singer, according to sources cited by the news portal The Blast. They have called Joycelyn Savage, another alleged victim of the 23-year-old artist, who still has a relationship with Kelly, to testify. Savage has always defended the innocence of the singer and has assured that if he is with him it is of her own free will. Her parents, however, claim that the young woman has been “brainwashed” and have been denouncing her isolation for months. In fact, they are taking part in the documentary broadcast by Lifetime.
In turn, R. Kelly’s representative, Don Russell, has also been denounced by Savage’s family for threats and intimidation. As the girl’s father stated last Monday, Russell wrote him a message before the Surviving R. Kelly premiere stating “it would be better for him and his family if the docuserie were not broadcast. According to police documents obtained by The Blast, Rusell accused Savage of spreading false information in the series and assured that if they continued with the intention of broadcasting it, they “would be forced to provide information that disproves it. (…) Something that would ruin his reputation, his business and his family, as it would show him as a liar.
But Georgia isn’t the only state seeking evidence against Kelly. Last Tuesday, the news portal TMZ announced that Cook County (Chicago, Illinois) Attorney Kim Foxx was asking other victims of the singer to step forward and denounce his abuses. According to the prosecutor herself, the statements in Surviving R. Kelly are “deeply disturbing,” so she wants to encourage those women who were submitted by the translators to tell their stories. “These allegations cannot be investigated without the cooperation of victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you,” Foxx has argued. According to the same website, one victim and the families of two others have already come forward to testify.
R. Kelly was one of R&B’s biggest stars in the 1990s, after basketball player Michael Jordan asked him to compose a song for the Space Jam soundtrack. With the 1998 single I believe I can fly won three Grammy awards and was number two on the American charts and number one in Europe. Throughout his career of more than 25 years he has sold 60 million albums, making him one of the 40 best-selling singers in the United States.
The first such accusations against the artist arose in July 2017. In a news item on the BuzzFeed website, the singer was accused of allegedly holding half a dozen girls between the ages of 17 and 21, whom he subjected to a kind of “sexual cult” in his residences in Chicago and Atlanta. At the time, several women and relatives of other victims claimed that the singer exercised severe control over them, their phone calls, their diet, the clothes they wear, how they should behave or the time they go to bed. The women even had to ask for permission to go to the bathroom or leave their assigned rooms.
Then, a police investigation was carried out in the singer’s residences, but they found no evidence to go ahead with the complaint. According to the authorities, the girls who lived with the artist were of legal age – in the State of Illinois, where one of the girls came from, the age of majority is 17 – and the relationships were consensual.
But these are not the only accusations against the singer. In 1995, he married singer Aaliyah when she was only 15, and in 2008 he faced several child pornography charges after filming a sex video with a 14-year-old girl.