Scared and Abused
When reports of R. Kelly running a cult rang through the Hip Hop-sphere, reactions were mixed to say the least. While some wrote the stories off as fake news, it became harder and harder for people to ignore as allegations kept emerging.
R. Kelly has had a bit of a questionable past regardless of these particular rumors. Ever since the R&B megastar married 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, people have kept an eye on him… and his preference for underage girls. By the early 2000s, R. Kelly had gone through several public scandals, and in 2002 the full extent of his alleged illegal activities with minors came to light.
In February of 2002, reporter and Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis got ahold of a 26-minute video from an anonymous source that allegedly showed Kelly engaging in illicit acts with a young girl. The most notable section featured the “Ignition” singer asking the 14-year-old to call him “daddy” and urinating in her mouth.
The video was released six years after Tiffany Hawkins, an aspiring singer, began a $10 million lawsuit against Kelly. Hawkins — who allegedly began a sexual relationship with the singer when she was just 15 years old — claimed that she “suffered personal injuries and severe emotional harm because she had sex with the singer and he encouraged her to participate in group sex with him and other underage girls.”
Regardless of his alleged indiscretions, his fans stayed dedicated, putting his 2010 album Love Letter on the US Billboard 200.
Now that another woman — R. Kelly’s ex girlfriend and now-famous DJ Kitti Jones — has come forward with even more heart-breaking allegations of abuse and neglect suffered at the hands of Kelly, will his fans still stand by him?
Kill or Be Killed
While everyone knows the “When a Women Loves” singer has a documented preference for younger women, Kitti Jones was fully grown when she met R. Kelly. With a divorce under her belt alongside a career and a child in her care, Kitti was definitely of age when Kelly came along.
Kelly and Jones, who was a DJ for the Dallas hip-hop and R&B station 97.9 The Beat, met in 2011 at an afterparty at which Jones was working. She was upset that she missed one of his concerts for the first time in years, but excited that she would finally get to met her favorite artist. Jones patiently waited for Kelly to arrive at the party, and when he did, the DJ made her way to his section.
“I said, ‘Oh I’m so upset, because this is one of the first concerts I’ve ever missed,'” Jones said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “And he was like, ‘Well you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.'”
While Jones remembers seeing some red flags, she says she still fell for the singer. By September of 2011, she quit her job and moved in with R. Kelly.
Less than a month after the move, when she was physically abused for the first time, Jones knew that she had made a mistake. “His voice scared me, seeing that he called scared me, hearing a door open and close scared me,” she remembered.
Tired of being abused and scared, Jones knew she had to escape R. Kelly’s grasp. “I just said, ‘I’m gonna kill myself and it’s gonna be his fault,'” she told Rolling Stone. “‘I can either kill myself or kill him. What use am I when I walk out of here?'”
Preparing to Run
Two years after the pair met, Jones finally had her way out in 2013. After Kelly agreed to let her visit her son in Dallas to take him shopping for school supplies, she walked out and left almost everything behind. Taking only a few personal items with her, she hopped on a flight and never looked back.
While Kelly’s wildly dedicated fan base made things hard on her, in light the recent allegations that R. Kelly was starting a cult filled with young women, Kitti doesn’t regret sharing her story. She wrote:
“It pisses me off that people that really did suffer and go through the things that they did and wanted to kill themselves are still ashamed, in hiding, embarrassed and just afraid overall to speak out. The backlash from it will make you feel like [you wish you’d] never talked about it. And all this has been replaying in my head and I’m like, ‘F*ck that. I’m not letting this be me.'”
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