Alleged R. Kelly “Cult” Victim Won’t Say If She Can Leave the House
Yesterday, Buzzfeed published veteran Chicago reporter Jim Derogatis’ explosive and meticulously reported-story about a group of young women who allegedly live under the watch of R. Kelly in what their parents describe as a “cult.” The story immediately garnered responses from some of those who are involved, including R. Kelly himself, who, through a representative, gave a statement to TMZ denying the charges. Later in the day, the parents of Joycelyn Savage, one of the women mentioned in the story, held a press conference further explaining what they believe to be the direness of their daughter’s situation. Her father, Timothy Savage, argued that Savage is experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome” and claimed that more evidence against Kelly and proof of his abusive behavior would come out within “the next two to three days.”
In a new video interview with TMZ, however, Savage claimed that she was “totally fine,” though you would be forgiven for not exactly believing convinced. “I’m in a happy place in my life, and I’m not being brainwashed or anything like that…” the 21-year-old said to the camera. “Everything is okay with me.” She continued: “I’ve never been held hostage or anything of that nature.”
Savage also said she voluntarily hasn’t reached out to her parents for “on and off…6, 5 months” because they were “causing trouble in [her] life and saying [she] was being held hostage against her will.”
But Savage would not say where she currently was living–specifically, whether she was currently in a house rented by Kelly in Georgia, as Derogatis’ report indicated. “I’m actu…No, I’m not. I wouldn’t want to speak on that,” Savage said. She further declined comment when asked whether she was allowed to leave the house on her own free will: “No, I won’t speak on that as well.”
Soon afterwards, Timothy Savage responded to his daughter’s message in an interview, saying that the reason that she refused to give her location in the video is “because she’s not allowed to.” He also reacted to Kelly’s own comments to TMZ: “Mr. R. Kelly, if you wanted to file a lawsuit, you should have filed it yesterday…I’m waiting on you. If that’s what you want to do, I’ll see you in court.”
Watch both interviews below, and read SPIN’s complete timeline of the allegations against R. Kelly here.