Two women accusing R. Kelly of sexual abuse and the parents of another woman who they claim the singer has brainwashed appeared on NBC News’ “Megyn Kelly Today” this morning. The appearances follow multiple accusations against the singer from several women that arose last week.
Asante McGee spoke about her experience dating R. Kelly, who she alleges was abusive and controlling. “You would have to send a text message to one of his runners, just asking if you can go to the restroom and then they will relay the information to him because you weren’t free to walk around the house.” Kitti Jones, who says she spent two years in R. Kelly’s Atlanta home, told Megyn, “We were required to call him Daddy … You would get in trouble if you didn’t.”
Joycelyn Savage, 22, was at the center of an ongoing controversy last summer after her parents claim that Kelly had brainwashed her. After her parents Tim and Jonjelyn spoke out against Kelly, who they said had brought her into his orbit with promises to make her his protégé, Savage posted a pair of videos last summer saying she was fine and asking to be left alone.
“She’s being controlled,” Tim Savage said. “I know my daughter, me and my wife raised her from birth. [When we hear her speak], that’s not my daughter.”
“You think she’s being manipulated?” Megyn Kelly asked. “Oh yes,” he replied.
The host asked the couple whether anything seemed amiss when their daughter began working with Kelly. “Everything was set up professionally, it seemed okay,” Jonjelyn said. “Everything was set up through his female assistant: car service, airline, hotels. We had no idea it was anything more than a professional relationship.”
Asked if they were aware of the allegations against him, which date back to the 1990s, Jonjelyn said, “I had heard about that — I was a fan of R. Kelly back in the ‘90s. But like anybody else, as a fan the perception you have of the artist if you don’t know them — the difference between R. Kelly the entertainer and R. Kelly the man is very different. What we’re going through now is more severe than I would have ever imagined.”
Joycelyn left college to move in with Kelly without notifying her parents. “She definitely was being contacted without our knowledge, she was 19 at the time,” Tim said. “We got a call from her roommate that she didn’t return for the spring semester. Her [dorm] room was cleaned out, we had no knowledge, we finally confirmed she was with Mr. Kelly.”
Through a Kelly spokesperson, Joycelyn provided a statement to “Today.”
“I am an adult, 22 years old, and I call on my parents to stop telling lies about me and my relationship with R. Kelly,” it reads. “I am building my own life and my own career. My parents are hurting me by depicting me in public as ‘brainwashed’ or a ‘sex’ object…it was my parents who introduced me to R. Kelly three years ago. They were looking out not for me, but for their own financial gain, hoping that R. Kelly would make me an instant star. I happen to care for R. Kelly and I enjoy my relationship with him.”
Savage’s parents noted that their daughter’s name is spelled wrong on the statement.
According to TMZ, Joycelyn was spotted shopping with Kelly in Chicago late in April.
A rep for R. Kelly did not immediately grant Variety’s request for comment.