A mother named J. and her husband, Tim, whose identities are not being disclosed in order to protect their daughter’s identity, have told police that they believe their daughter has been brainwashed into a “cult” by R. Kelly, according to a report by BuzzFeed News.
Back in May of 2015, J. and her daughter met with R. Kelly, and at the time, no red flags went up. J. was impressed with the artist and was excited for her daughter, believing that her music career would take off with R. Kelly’s help.
“When we got to go backstage with R. Kelly, we stayed there over two hours,” J. told BuzzFeed. “One-on-one with just me and my daughter and him. We went back to talk about the music. He listened to her CD. He was going to help her with her CD, and I was really impressed with him at first, because I have always been an R. Kelly fan.”
But since that time, the parents have seen less and less of their daughter and have not seen her at all since December 2016.
“It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” J. said. “I hugged her and hugged her. But she just kept saying she’s in love and [Kelly] is the one who cares for her. I don’t know what to do. I hope that if I get her back, I can get her treatment for victims of cults. They can reprogram her. But I wish I could have stopped it from happening.”
Three people with intimate knowledge of the situation — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones and Asante McGee — have also provided details confirming the parents’ story. They claimed that R. Kelly had six women in places in Chicago and Atlanta and controls everything about them, right down to when they can eat, sleep, or use the bathroom.
“You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom. … [Kelly] is a master at mind control. … He is a puppet master,” Mack said.
The women claimed that there was a 31-year-old “den mother” who “trained” the girls on how R. Kelly liked to be pleasured sexually. They said that he recorded the encounters and that he was jealous of anyone looking at the women, making them wear tracksuits to hide their figures and turn around when other men entered the room. They also claimed that any infraction of the rules was met with physical and verbal punishment.
For example, Jones claimed that Kelly had pinned her to a tree and hit her outside of a Subway restaurant in 2013 because he felt that she had been too nice to a male cashier.
“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet,” McGee said. “But Robert is the devil.”
The problem that J. and Tim face is that their daughter is of legal age, and the police cannot consider her to be a missing person if she is a consenting adult. What’s more, the Cook County Sheriff’s office reported that when they went for a wellness check, the young woman said that she was “fine and did not want to be bothered with her parents because her father was threatening people,” though Tim denied that charge. Since that time, Tim and J. have reached out to the FBI in the hopes that the federal government can step in where the police are falling short.
“It’s not about my daughter, per se. It’s about all the girls,” Tim said. “It’s about my daughter, and I understand that. But the abuse that my daughter is actually enduring, nobody should go through.”
Read the entire Buzzfeed report here.