UPDATED: Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Friday that his office is not currently investigating R. Kelly for allegations the singer held women against their will in a Johns Creek house, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Earlier on Friday, John Eaves, chairman of Georgia’s Fulton County, called for a criminal investigation of the singer, citing evidence collected by local police around allegations that the singer is holding women against their will in a house located in the county.
Eaves is also running for mayor of Atlanta.
The allegations stem from a Buzzfeed article written by Jim DeRogatis, alleging that Kelly is holding “women against their will in a cult” in houses near Chicago and Atlanta. Kelly and his attorneys have denied the allegations.
“A detailed local investigation by the John Creek Police Department has provided key information that we believe is enough evidence that gives the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office all it needs to advance a criminal investigation of the well-known allegations,” Eaves said in a statement before the press conference.
Lt. Chris Byers of the Johns Creek police department, where the house is located, told the AJC Friday “there is no new evidence in the closed investigation.” Asked why the file was turned over to the DA’s office, Byers said: “We gave them everything (we) had. We let them know what was going on due to the high profile nature of the incident and figured they would be getting calls about it.”
Later on Friday, Kelly’s attorney’s issued a statement slamming the Fulton County Board of Commissions and Eaves for his call of a criminal investigation.
“Mr. Kelly is outraged by the ongoing efforts of the Fulton County Board of Commissions and its chairman to interfere with his business interests and now, absent any authority, attempt to have him targeted for investigation,” reads the statement.
“The Board made it clear last week that they wish to prevent Mr. Kelly’s Atlanta-area concert, though they do not have the authority to do so and are contractually obligated to honor their own agreements,” it goes on. “Now, today, the Board’s chairman tries again to interfere with the concert and assist others in that effort by calling for an investigation based on a supposed file – the contents of which he has not even seen, and after proper authorities already stated just last week that they looked into the allegations and launched no investigation. The allegations against Mr. Kelly are false and ill-motived.”
In the report, three sets of parents claim that the singer is holding their daughters in an abusive “cult.” While their identities have been withheld, three former associates of the singer also spoke with reporter Jim DeRogatis, repeating the parents’ accusations and adding details of their own — one says “he is a master at mind control.”
Parents of one of the women, Jocelyn Savage, have spoken publicly against Kelly several times, claiming that she is being held against her will and declines contact with the family. Jocelyn Savage responded with a pair of videos claiming that she’s happy living under Kelly’s tutelage.
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 having sex with a 14-year-old girl. DeRogatis, who received the tape from an anonymous source in 2000 and turned it over to police, wrote the article that launched the investigation.
His Buzzfeed report claims that the young women fell under Kelly’s sway after being brought to him by their parents in an effort to further their musical careers, but that he then “brainwashed” them.
According to parents and the former associates, Kelly:
* keeps several young women at his homes in Atlanta and Chicago;
* replaces their cell phones with ones specifically used to communicate with him and forbids them to contact their families;
* requires they call him “daddy” and ask permission to leave the studio or their residences;
* films their sexual encounters with him;
* abuses them physically and verbally
The three former Kelly associates who support the parents’ claims — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee — say that “six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and he controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”