One of R. Kelly’s longtime girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, has come forward publicly to refute claims that she’s turned on the R&B singer after an Instagram account claiming to be her suggested as much.
In a video obtained by TMZ, Savage, first reading pre-written statements on her cell phone, strongly denies the assertion that she had left Kelly due to alleged abuse. “I am truly tired of all the lies that they are saying about the man we love so much and our best friend R. Kelly,” she said, speaking on behalf of herself and another of Kelly’s girlfriends, Azriel Clary. “It has been said that I have left him, and he has abused me, and all kinds of nonsense. I have said before none of it is true. It is a shame how they are treating him. It is so wrong on so many levels and he does not deserve this. I am not going to be a part of the assassination of R. Kelly’s name, music career, and his character.”
A person identifying themselves as Savage posted an image on social media on Nov. 22 that read: “There’s something I need to reveal, something I should’ve talked about a long time ago. This is my story!”
It was quickly followed by an invitation to pay for access to a Patreon account, also purportedly belonging to Savage. The account had belonged to Savage at one point, her family’s attorney Gerald Griggs told Buzzfeed. “She had access to that Instagram and was using it in 2017.” At the time, her parents did not deny or confirm that the account belonged to their daughter, from whom they have been estranged since shortly after she met Kelly at the age of 19 (she’s now 24), which gave further credibility to the account.
Savage says in the video released on Dec. 4: “That is not my instagram. Someone is impersonating me. I just want everyone to know we still support him and we will never betray him. Me and Azriel will forever love him. I truly apologize to all of the fans that have been going through this tough time and I truly understand. It has been hell for me and Azriel as well.”
Variety is among numerous publications that posted the statements made in the Patreon post. Three days later, Patreon suspended the account, saying it had reason to believe the account-holder had committed fraud.
Savage goes on to suggest that a fair trial poses a particularly difficult challenge in Kelly’s case. “How will we ever be able to get a fair trial anywhere in the world with all these lies that are being told on him? Please free him and let him come home in peace. I promise you, he is not the person you guys think he is. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and Azriel.”
Kelly’s legal problems don’t end there. He is also reportedly facing bribery charges for the fake ID he allegedly used to marry the late singer Aaliyah in 1994. She was 15 at the time and he was 27.