One of the women named as a victim by her family in a dramatic news conference that made extraordinary allegations against the singer R. Kelly gave a video interview to TMZ in which she denied she was being held against her will.
Joycelyn Savage, the 21-year-old whose father, mother and sister held a news conference Monday at which they accused Kelly of making Joycelyn and other women his sex slaves, told TMZ, “I’m in a happy place with my life and I am not being brainwashed or anything like that… I just want everyone to know I am totally fine, I’ve never felt like a hostage or anything of that nature.”
She says in the brief, edited clip posted on the website that she hasn’t spoken to her parents for five or six months.
Joycelyn, who says she will be 22 in five days time, would not answer questions about her location or the exact nature of her relationship with Kelly, who has denied all the accusations levelled against him in a Buzzfeed article by reporter Jim DeRogatis who initially exposed R Kelly’s sexual predation on young women in a series of articles in 2000.
Over the years Kelly has had multiple accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him, including a 2008 case where he was acquitted on 14 charges of making child pornography; that case centered around a videotape that prosecutors alleged showed Kelly with a 14-year-old girl.
It was DeRogatis, who, having received the tape from an anonymous source in 2000, turned it over to police.
Joycelyn's insistence that she is happy with the situation is unlikely to come as a surprise to her father, Timothy, who said at the news conference Monday that he believes his daughter is experiencing Stockholm Syndrome.
Through attorney Linda Mensch, R. Kelly has issued a statement saying, “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
In the report, three sets of parents claim that the singer is holding their daughters in an abusive “cult.”
Three former associates of the singer also spoke with the reporter, repeating the parents’ accusations and adding details of their own — one says “he is a master at mind control.”
According to parents and the former associates, Kelly is keeping as many as six young women at his homes in Atlanta and Chicago.
The report states that he replaces their cell phones with ones specifically used to communicate with him and forbids them to contact their families. The report also alleged that Kelly requires they call him “daddy” and ask permission to leave the studio or their residences and films their sexual encounters with him.
There have been a litany of other allegations against Kelly from women who claim to have had sex with him while underage over the years, but Kelly - who in 1994, aged 27, married his 15-year-old protégé Aaliyah in a secret ceremony – has never been found guilty in a court of law.