R Kelly accused of grooming 14-year-old girl as ‘sex pet’

By The Guardian

The R&B singer R Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing a girl since she was 14 years old.

The allegation – the latest in a string of allegations of the sexual abuse of young women by Kelly – was made, referring to another woman, by former girlfriend Kitti Jones, in a BBC3 documentary, R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes.

During two years of dating Kelly from 2011 onwards, Jones, 34, says she was groomed by him, and forced to have sex with him and others at least 10 times in a “sex dungeon”.

She said: “I was introduced to one of the girls, that he told me he ‘trained’ since she was 14, those were his words. I saw that she was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I’d say and her mannerisms were like mine. That’s when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets. He calls them his pets.”

Jones said Kelly made the unnamed woman “crawl on the floor towards me and perform oral sex on me, and he said, ‘This is my fucking pet, I trained her. She’s going to teach you how to be with me.’” It is unclear how old the woman was at the time of this incident.

Kelly or his representatives made no comment to the BBC or the Guardian, but he has previously denied accusations of sexual impropriety or violence against women.

In 2008, Kelly was found not guilty of child pornography charges after he was accused of filming and photographing sexual encounters with a 14-year-old girl. He has reportedly made out of court settlements with various other women, including in 1996 Tiffany Hawkins, who said she had a sexual relationship with him for three years from the age of 15.

Jones has spoken out against Kelly before, in an October 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, in which she described him becoming physically abusive after she confronted him over the alleged child abuse images: “He would start kicking me, telling me I was a stupid bitch [and] don’t ever get in his business.”

In the BBC documentary, Jones says Kelly was “very abusive, physically, mentally, verbally. I think he gets some sort of satisfaction within himself, knowing that he’s taking control over other people.”

In July 2017, Jones, along with three other women, spoke out against Kelly for an investigation by reporter Jim DeRogatis for BuzzFeed News, in which they accused him of “brainwashing” a series of women into a cult-like setup, where Kelly required them to have sex with him, and controlled what they wore and when they could use the bathroom or their phones.

Kelly denied the claims, saying he would “work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name”.

DeRogatis later spoke to Jerhonda Pace, another woman who had a sexual relationship with Kelly. She said: “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on” by Kelly, who also reportedly had her dress up like a schoolgirl and call him “daddy”.

Elsewhere in the documentary, Kelly’s ex-manager Rocky Bivens stated that he was at the secret wedding ceremony between the singer and fellow R&B star Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. Kelly has in the past denied the marriage.

Kelly is one of the most successful R&B singers of all time, having scored six US No 1 albums, with seven more reaching the Top 5; his hits include Bump n’ Grind, I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix). His success has waned in recent years, however, and he hasn’t had a single in the US Top 20 since 2007.

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