The release of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly has refocused attention on a long list of alleged sexual assault claims against the R'n'B singer.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta, Georgia, is reportedly making contact with a number of Kelly’s alleged victims, including Jocelyn Savage, who currently lives with him.
The 23-year-old Savage has lived with Kelly for several years but her family alleges he has prevented her from leaving his property or having any unsupervised contact with the outside world. Another woman Kelly previously lived with, Asante McGee, alleged she was kept at his home against her will. She has called on the singer to take a live polygraph test about their relationship.
— Variety (@Variety) January 8, 2019
Illinois State Attorney urges victims to come forward
Kim Foxx, the State Attorney in Cook County, Illinois, has also called for any victims to come forward. Speaking at a press conference, Foxx said the allegations against Kelly were “disturbing”.
“Please come forward,” she said. “There is nothing that can be done about these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses.” Foxx also said the families of two alleged victims had already contacted her office.
Surviving R. Kelly, a six-episode Lifetime series, included interviews with a number of women who accuse the singer of sexual and emotional abuse as well as commentators such as Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement. Many of Kelly’s alleged victims say his abuse of them dates back to when they were teenagers.
Since the documentary began airing last week, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said her office has received calls from local relatives of women who have been in contact with Kelly over the last several years. https://t.co/mUnQNyDvQs
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 9, 2019
Allegations against Kelly stretch back 25 years
Kelly had previously been sued for emotional distress and faced charges for child pornography but escaped conviction. He may now face charges for sexual assault and false imprisonment among other crimes.
The singer has always denied all accusations levelled against him. His attorney told Billboard that Surviving R. Kelly was full of false claims.
In the wake of the docuseries airing, a Facebook page called ‘Surviving Lies’ which sought to discredit Kelly’s alleged victims appeared. It was reportedly created by people linked to Kelly but has since been removed from the social network.
Following the finale of 'Surviving R. Kelly', a page titled "Surviving Lies" surfaced on Facebook which ran ads discrediting Kelly's accusers https://t.co/X9IA8fbDYe
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 8, 2019
Authorities are also investigating the possibility that Don Russell, Kelly’s long-standing manager, has sought to threaten and intimidate alleged victims and their families.
Some of the many performers who have collaborated with Kelly have since regretted working with him. In a recently surfaced interview, Chance the Rapper acknowledged that “making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake”.