Over the summer, we heard allegations that R. Kelly keeps teen girls captive in a “sex cult” in which he controls every aspect of their lives, from how they eat to how they serve him.
While these aren’t the first stomach-churning accusations about R. Kelly that we’d heard, this really shed new light on the sort of monster that he allegedly is.
It’s important to recognize that adults can be victims as well. One woman, Kitti Jones, has come forward with accusations of how R. Kelly lured her into a relationship, convinced her to quit her job, and subjected her to a two-year horror show of control and abuse.
In 1994, R. Kelly was 27 years old.
In 1994, he married Aaliyah, who was only 15 years old at the time.
That’s horrifying enough, but when you listen to people talk about their accounts of their experiences with R. Kelly, you start to see a grotesque pattern of not only sexual predation upon minors but of alleged abuse.
In the ’90s, R. Kelly settled at least three suits with women who alleged that he’d preyed upon them when they were minors, and at least one of those women alleged that he’d encouraged her to participate in group sex with him and other minor girls.
Until this summer,t he most notorious thing about R. Kelly was the video tape that surfaced in 2002 and showed a young girl calling R. Kelly “daddy” before he urinated into her mouth.
Though dozens of witnesses identified the girl as having been 14 at the time, jurors somehow acquitted R. Kelly of multiple counts of child pornography … because they “couldn’t” verify her age.
So, you know, another great example of the justice system and how it works … well, how it operates.
All of that is enough reason for you to want to hide your kids.
As it turns out, where R. Kelly is concerned, you might want to hide your wife, too.
Because we heard allegations this summer that indicate that R. Kelly is also a danger to adult women.
(Honestly, a college classmate of mine shared several years ago that a man hit on her in a bar and she assumed that he was just fishing for free drinks — and later learned that it was R. Kelly. I can’t help thinking that she really dodged a bullet)
Back in July, we heard allegations that R. Kelly keeps a number of young women, teenagers included, in a cult-like environment that revolves around them servicing him, sexually.
Beyond that, he is said to keep them isolated from their families and the outside world. He allegedly controls what they eat and when they eat it and even when they go to the bathroom.
According to these accusations, R. Kelly does all of this slowly, grooming them, and effectively brainwashes them into defending him when anyone expresses concern.
Most seriously of all, there were allegations of verbal and physical abuse.
R. Kelly denied these accusations, to no one’s surprise. He was similarly dismissive of the infamous underage pee-tape.
Even back in July, a sex partner of R. Kelly’s confirmed the allegations contained within the damning expose.
And then in August, another alleged sex abuse victim of R. Kelly’s came forward.
Well, a Rolling Stone article titled “Surviving R. Kelly” details the experiences of one survivor named Kitti Jones.
She says that she was a huge fan of R. Kelly growing up — like, a superfan who would get up close to the stage at his concerts. He was her “Brad Pitt,” she says.
On the night that she first met him, they exchanged numbers and he told her to call him “daddy,” not “Rob.” This was back in 2011, and the happy beginning to Kitti’s nightmare.
They texted back and forth and she would send him risque photos. When they saw each other again, Kitti describes R. Kelly as walking into the hotel room, sitting down, and whipping out his penis.
“I was attracted to him and was just like, ‘Well, OK. Fine.’ Maybe he just has weird ways of getting off.”
Well … we guess she’s not wrong.
The two had oral sex that weekend, Kitti says, with R. Kelly saying things like “I gotta teach you how to be with me” and “I gotta train you.” So … yikes.
“He was like a drill sergeant even when he was pleasuring me,” Kitti describes. “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 his celebrity status, her attraction to him, his months of having groomed her over the phone, and the way that he made her feel special added up to her not worrying about it too much.
At first, she says, she believed their relationship to be monogamous, despite some … warning signs.
“He said, ‘I have friends and I have girls I’ve raised.’ I didn’t know what he meant by ‘raised’ at the time. He said, ‘I eventually want you to meet them, but I want to make sure you’re mentally ready for that.'”
FYI, folks, everything that Kitti just described R. Kelly as having said is a huge, huge red flag. And then it gets worse.
R. Kelly would insist that she not interact with men, even male drivers. Also, he convinced her to quit her job, promising ot pay her double her salary as a DJ.
Even before he got her to quit, though, Kitti says that he already had her feeling emotionally tethered to him, and very defensive against any criticism.
“Rob kinda makes you feel like you have to defend him. It’s like you and him against the world. If someone brought him up [in conversation], immediately a wall went up.”
Once she quit her job and moved to be with him, Kitti says that she surrendered even more control to R. Kelly. He dictated how she could dress when she went out in public and required constant check-ins, even texts like “Daddy, I need to go to the restroom.”
The first instance of alleged abuse took place less than a month after Kitti moved in with him, as a result of Kitti challenging him about the pee tape.
His response was fury, and she describes him spending a car ride berating her while striking her in the face and kicking her while she apologized.
The next day, she says, he took her shopping and neither of them addressed what had happened. She says that she considered leaving him, but that she’d have felt silly after having quit her job to be with him.
Unfortunately, as any abuse survivor could tell you, the first incident was not the last. Kitti says that there were 10 instances of R. Kelly inflicting physical abuse upon her during their first year together, and that the abuse happened more frequently the following year.
When R. Kelly went on his “Single Ladies” tour, however, he treated her “like a princess,” which dashed many of Kitti’s misgivings.
(Remember, it’s classic abuser behavior for them to play games with their victims, rewarding them and even making them second-guess how bad things had really gotten)
After the tour, R. Kelly housed Kitti alongside two of his other girlfriends, monitoring their movements with cameras and punishing them by taking away their phones — at one point, taking Kitti’s for two months.
Losing your phone sucks, but in their case, this meant that they couldn’t request food.
In fact, Kitti says that R. Kelly would also use starvation to punish his “girlfriends.” At one point, she went without food for two and a half days.
And though they were living in neighboring rooms, the three women didn’t even know each other’s real names at first, Kitti says. They were also supposed to report on each other if one of them was breaking the rules.
“If you disclose your relationship with him [to another woman] — how long you’ve known him or whatever — you can get beat. He doesn’t want in any way for one girl to feel more like, ‘Oh, we’re closer than you guys.’ Even though we knew deep down we’re all living there, we didn’t address it.”
In March of 2013, Kitti says, R. Kelly once again escalated their relationship by bringing in another young woman, naked, and having her and Kitti have sex with each other.
“He told me, ‘I raised her. I’ve trained this bitch. This is my pet.'”
Calling someone your “pet” in roleplay is fine, but this is more severe. And Kitti says that it was the beginning of R. Kelly forcing her into group sex.
“You can’t say no because you’re going to get punished. You just become numb to what’s happening. It’s so traumatic the things that he makes you do to other people and to him.”
And she says that yes, he still enjoys urinating on women in sexual situations.
“He videotapes everything that he does, and sometimes he’ll just make you watch what he’s done to other girls or girls that he had be together. He would masturbate to that and then have you give him oral sex while he’s watching what he did with somebody else on his iPad.”
After six months of “hell” in which Kitti says that she was being punished every week — either being struck in the face or being starved or having her phone taken — Kitti was able to break free.
Fabricating a desire to take her son shopping, she went to Dallas with only a pair of suitcases. That was her escape.
In November of that year, R. Kelly showed up, ostensibly to return her possessions that she’d had to abandon. Instead, she says, he lured her onto his tour bus and inflicted more physical abuse upon her to punish her for leaving.
The two have never seen each other since.
Well, that’s all horrifying.