A lawyer for R Kelly has responded to allegations, published Monday in a Buzzfeed News article, that the R&B singer was holding six women in a "cult" based on properties in Atlanta and Chicago. The article quoted testimony from a couple, who say they're parents of one of the women currently living with Kelly, as well as interviews with three women—Asante McGee, Kitti Jones and Cheryl Mack—who say they were part of Kelly's "inner circle." Those interviewed in the piece allege that Kelly makes several young women stick to strict rules, including having their sexual activity filmed, and the breach of which they allege can lead to forms of physical and verbal abuse.
On Monday, Kelly's lawyer, Linda Mensch gave a statement to Pitchfork, which read:
Mr Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.
The article was written by Jim DeRogatis, a journalist and critic who has been reporting on allegations made against Kelly for 16 years. In the piece, which DeRogatis and Buzzfeed News say has been nine months in the making, he writes:
Mack, Jones, and McGee claim that women who live with Kelly, who he calls his 'babies,' are required to call him 'daddy' and must ask his permission to leave the Chicago recording studio or their assigned rooms in the 'guest house' Kelly rents near his own rented mansion in suburban Atlanta.A black SUV with a burly driver behind the wheel is almost always parked outside both locations. Kelly confiscates the women's cell phones, they said, so they cannot contact their friends and family; he gives them new phones that they are only allowed to use to contact him or others with his permission. Kelly films his sexual activities, McGee and Jones said, and shows the videos to men in his circle.
The Buzzfeed News article states that welfare checks conducted by police this year have not led to charges being filed against Kelly, and points out that all women believed to be living with the singer are above the age of consent.
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