Journalist Blasts Industry Acceptance of R. Kelly

The reporter spent nine months of work on the story which now has fans and authorities scratching their heads.

By Sarah Carroll

R. Kelly is allegedly brainwashing and holding aspiring female musicians hostage in an abusive cult, according to a report from BuzzFeed.

Two sets of parents along with some former R. Kelly associates spoke on the record, claiming he controls every aspect of their lives: “dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”

Related: R. Kelly Accused of Recruiting Women for Abusive ‘Sex Cult’

Earlier today (June 17), Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago journalist who broke the story, spoke with 97.1 AMP Radio‘s Carson Daly about the shocking allegations he’s been investigating.

“This is the result of nine months of work,” DeRogatis explained. “I think what everyone hopes is exactly what the parents hope — that these girls may come to their senses… and leave this circle.”

Police have performed welfare checks at Kelly’s properties in both Chicago and Georgia, however, the women reported missing by their families have claimed they are of age and want to be there.

“These are very talented young women. That’s how he seduces them,” DeRogatis said. “They’re talented, young singers who he promises to help create a career for like he did with Aaliyah.”

The 50-year-old entertainer’s controversial past hasn’t derailed his career in recent years. Last December, he starred in a digital campaign for Alexander Wang and performed on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

“I cannot understand how the entertainment industry continues to co-sign this artist when the accusations against him for twenty years have been horrifying and stomach-turning,” DeRogatis told Daly.

The FBI won’t confirm or deny their involvement in an investigation, but R. Kelly’s attorney issued a statement saying, in part, “It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love.”

Back in 2008, the R&B singer was acquitted on 14 charges of making child pornography.

“It’s a disturbing story. I don’t know, maybe this time things will be different,” said DeRogatis. “He was acquitted in 2008 because they never heard from that girl. I think now these parents and these young women who spoke to me on the record are being brave enough to put their names out there despite the sort of hell that will descend on them.”

“They want it to stop,” he added. “Everybody wants it to stop.”

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