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R. Kelly Accusers Say They Had to Get Permission Just to Use the Bathroom

Two women formerly involved with R. Kelly discussed the abuse they allegedly suffered at the hands of the r&b star with Megyn Kelly on the Today show. Asante McGee and Kitti James had previously told BuzzFeed News and Rolling Stone about their experiences as part of an alleged cult of young, sometimes underage women that the r&b singer is said to keep cloistered away in his Chicago and Atlanta properties.

James, who says she lived in the singer’s Chicago home during their two year relationship, told Megyn Kelly that all of her movements were supervised either by R. Kelly himself or one of his “runners.” She said that she was required to ask Kelly’s permission just to use the bathroom.

“I had to wear sweatpants. I had to stand up when he would walk into a room. I had to be on his phone plan…He would put a lot of his girlfriends on his phone plan so he could control who you were talking to, how often you talked to your family, what you were texting, things like that,” James said. “You would have to send a text message to one of his runners, just asking if you could go to the restroom, and they would relay the information to him. You weren’t free to walk throughout the house.”

McGee said she toured with R. Kelly and experienced similar restrictions when it came to taking care of basic needs.

“When I was on the sprinter, I had to use the restroom. I would text him, ‘Daddy, I need to use the restroom.’ We were required to call him Daddy,” McGee said. “You would address him as Daddy. If you didn’t, you would get in trouble. Or slapped.”

R. Kelly has denied allegations that he runs a cult where he keeps young women in his homes against their will.

“We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals — and in this case, it is unjust and off-target,” R. Kelly’s management said in a statement sent to NBC News last week. “We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”

When Megyn Kelly asked if the mounting accusations of sexual harassment or abuse against the 51-year-old singer were part and parcel of a “public lynching” McGee called R. Kelly’s defense “bullcrap.”

Time’s Up, the celebrity-led organization dedicated to combatting sexual harassment, recently announced the #MuteRKelly campaign to pressure concert venues, promoters, and other entities within the entertainment industries to stop doing business with the accused sexual predator. This morning, Lifetime announced it’s developing a docu-series investigating the singer’s alleged sexual misconduct.