It’s never a good sign when R. Kelly’s name is trending online, but yesterday it was really not good. BuzzFeed published a story accusing R. Kelly of living up to his nickname of The Pied Piper of R&B. They claimed he had lured young women into various homes and kept them in what was implied to be R. Kelly’s version of a cult. R. Kelly denied (via his rep) that he was involved in any such sex cult. One of the women with R. Kelly has recently spoken, and she also denies anything R. Kelly-ish is happening.
TMZ spoke to Joycelyn Savage, the 21-year-old daughter whose parents claimed R. Kelly lured her in by offering to help her with her music career in 2015. Joycelyn’s parents Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage held a press conference outside of one of R. Kelly’s alleged properties in Georgia. Jonjelyn claims the inside of the home is set up like a hotel for the girls, and that there is a special “black room” specifically for sex. Jonjelyn describes her daughter as “severely brainwashed.” She asks that R. Kelly release Joycelyn. Asante McGee, a woman who claims she once lived in a house with R. Kelly and admits she was once an R. Kelly fan, also spoke. She says she has witnessed some stuff in the house, and she didn’t like what she saw. According to Timothy, Joycelyn has Stockholm syndrome.
Joycelyn responded to the comments made in her parents’ press conference, and her story is much different. She says she’s in a “happy place” and denies she’s being brainwashed. She also denies that she’s being held hostage, or being forced to do anything she doesn’t want to do. She admits she hasn’t really spoken to her parents in 5 to 6 months, and says she decided to speak out because everything had “gotten out of hand.”
Then it got a little weird. Joycelyn was asked if she’s currently in Georgia, she refused to answer. When asked if she’s with other roommates or if she’s free to leave wherever she currently is, she refused to answer that as well.
Joycelyn’s father Timothy tells TMZ that Joycelyn’s refusal to confirm her location confirms his belief that she’s being told what she can and cannot do. Timothy defiantly says he’s “waiting on” R. Kelly to file a lawsuit so everyone can see his “dirty laundry.”
Several of R. Kelly’s neighbors spoke to TMZ, and they also deny R. Kelly was running a cult compound. R. Kelly rented a home in a gated community in Duluth, Georgia. The neighbors claim they saw “a bunch” of women coming and going from the home. They claimed that R. Kelly and his entourage would show up every couple of months and stay for less than a week. They say the house in question has been vacant for several months. They add that they absolutely would have called the police if they thought something shady was going on.
Joycelyn claims she’s not being held captive. Okay. But someone really should have warned her before she agreed to speak, that she should maybe reconsider sitting in front of closed curtains and filming with a webcam-resolution camera at an awkward angle. It’s kind of hard for me to believe she’s not being held hostage when I keep imagining the camera accidentally falling off the table and showing R. Kelly on the other side sitting in a director’s chair and holding a set of cue cards.