Artist News Legal

R Kelly ‘girlfriend’ comes forward with allegations of abuse

By | Published on Monday 25 November 2019

R Kelly

One of R Kelly’s girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, who has previously defended the musician, has now come forward to say that he has subjected her to sexual and psychological abuse.

Savage has detailed how she came to meet Kelly and described the abuse she says she later suffered in a series of posts on the website Patreon – her story being available to anyone willing to pay a subscription fee. Her claims are very similar to those of the other women who have made accusations against the star.

She says that she met Kelly at a concert in 2015 when she was nineteen, subsequently beginning a relationship with the musician after he said that he could make her famous.

Soon after, she claims, he became extremely controlling and abusive, behaviour that was enabled by an unnamed assistant. In one violent incident, she claims that she was choked by Kelly after forgetting to refer to him as “Daddy”.

Previously Savage has defended Kelly on a number of occasions, after her family appeared in the ‘Surviving R Kelly’ documentary alleging that she had been “brainwashed” by the star. In January this year she was questioned by police over claims made in the programme that she was being held hostage. She has also given interviews where she insisted she was not being held against her will.

However, she now says that she was coerced into making such statements, in one case being starved until she perfected the lines she was supposed to deliver.

Kelly, of course, is currently being held in custody while he awaits trial on numerous abuse charges. It had been expected that Savage would be a witness for the defence. Responding to her shift to speaking out against his client, Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg has accused Savage of inventing a story because Kelly is no longer able to financially support her as a result of his mounting legal woes. He notes in his statement that she is charging for access to her posts.

“It is unfortunate that Joycelyn now seeks to make money by exploiting her long time, loving relationship with Robert”, he told Variety. “Obviously if she were to tell the truth no one would pay so she has, unfortunately, chosen to regurgitate the stories and lies told by others for her own personal profit. We know the real facts, and it was not until the money ran out that she decided anything was wrong. Hopefully people will see it for the obvious profiteering it is”.

Savage’s family confirmed to the New York Times that they were aware of the new statements but said that they had yet to reconnect with her. They told the paper: “The family is concerned about the allegations made by the social media account purported to be that of Joycelyn Savage. Numerous facts detailed by the account confirm the abuse and coercion that the family has alleged for two and a half years. We are attempting to make contact with Joy and the family is ready to welcome her back with love and open arms”.

Kelly has been held in jail while he awaits trials in New York and Chicago, and is also expected to stand trial on further abuse charges in Minnesota. Earlier this month it was announced that he planned to enact his fifth amendment right not to speak in order to avoid self-incrimination in a separate civil case brought against him by another of his accusers.