R. Kelly has been accused of multiple incidents of sexual abuse and misconduct, but on Friday, four more alleged victims came forward. Buzzfeed and the Washington Post both published reports from women who claim to have been held captive, were controlled, abused, and forced to engage in sexual acts.
In the Buzzfeed report, Lizette Martinez said that she met Robert Kelly in 1995 at a mall in Miami when she was just 17-years-old. At the time, the R&B star was 28-years-old and Martinez said that he was aware that she was both underage and a virgin when they first had intercourse. In Florida, the age of consent is 18-years-old. The relationship was riddled with physical abuse, according to the alleged victim, and lasted until she walked away in 1999.
The second allegation in the Buzzfeed report came from a woman, Michelle, whose daughter, “N,” allegedly entered into a relationship with R. Kelly 10 years ago when she was only 17. According to Illinois state law, the age of consent is 17-years-old. Michelle said that her daughter was and still is a part of Kelly’s alleged sex cult and she wants her daughter to come home now. The mother told Buzzfeed that “being silent is not the answer.”
For the first time, two additional accusers spoke out against R. Kelly making allegations of their own. Patrice Jones and Tracy Sampson told the Washington Post that they were both in abusive relationships with Kelly. Label executives and studio employees had first-hand knowledge of Kelly’s behavior and they looked the other way.
Sampson was only 16-years-old and working as an intern at Epic Records when Kelly first approached her. She said that he was a master at manipulating young minds. In 2002, Sampson ended up settling her case against the singer, but is speaking out now on behalf of all the other young women who were and are allegedly being abused.
When Jones was 17, she discovered that she was pregnant. She said that Kelly was married and pressured her to have an abortion to protect his career. He even broke down in tears, Jones said. She complied.
R. Kelly’s team adamantly denies these and every other allegation against him. The following statement was issued in response to Friday’s reports:
“R. Kelly has close friendships with a number of women who are strong, independent, happy, well cared for and free to come and go as they please,” the statement read as reported by the New York Times. “We deny the many dark descriptions put forth by instigators and liars who have their own agenda for seeking profit and fame.”