A video has surfaced of three of R. Kelly’s alleged victims seemingly enjoying themselves at one of the R&B singer’s concerts, TMZ reported. The video — from an October 2016 concert in New Jersey — featured Joycelyn Savage, Dominique Gardner, and Azriel Clary dancing and cheering while all huddled together to watch Kelly perform. Clary even accepted a high-five from Kelly, who had an eagle-eye view on the girls in their prime location.
The three young women, whose parents have allegedly been unsuccessfully trying to reach out to them for years, seem to be having a great time at the concert. This has lead some people to believe that they are not being held against their will as previously understood. As TMZ revealed, the girls looking happy — and as if they are having a regular night out at a concert — could actually be textbook Stockholm Syndrome, a condition where hostages develop a deep psychological alliance with their captor as a survival strategy during captivity.
As the six part docu-series Surviving R. Kelly detailed, many of Kelly’s former victims — and the families of the women reportedly still under his thumb — succumbed to years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer. One victim, Kitti Jones, a former radio host for Dallas’ 98.7 The Beat, opened up during the series to shed some light on what it was like living with Kelly — and how his manipulation tactics broke her down, mentally.
Jones claimed that, during her years-long relationship with Kelly, she faced severe abuse at the hands of the singer. She was told how to dress, instructed not to speak to anyone but Kelly — who she was forced to refer to as “Daddy” — and was withheld from eating if she displeased him.
She recalled a moment where she had thought she had enough of the abuse, and this moment came while she starved for three days — and was forced to watch Kelly eat.
The series also followed the parents of the women in the video, parents who have all made several attempts to reach out to their daughters. The parents of Joycelyn Savage have held several press conferences in attempts to make contact with her, and have tried several times to reach her at Kelly’s residences, but have been unable to get through.
Azriel Clary, who was a 17 year old fan of Kelly’s at the time of their meeting, was also featured in the Lifetime series. Her parents took police to Kelly’s Chicago studio to do a wellness check. After no one answered, police were forced to walk away, and the Clary’s heartbreakingly screamed out for their daughter at the windows. No one ever came out to address them.
As for Dominique Gardner, the journey of her mother, Michelle Kramer, was documented in full for the docu-series. Viewers watched as Kramer made several attempts to reach her daughter at a Los Angeles hotel, a hotel she had seen her daughter standing in front of during an episode of TMZ — along with Joycelyn Savage. The producers and hotel staff aided Kramer in finding her daughter’s hotel room, and after a tear-filled reunion, Gardner agreed to meet her mother a few hours later.
Gardner, who has been named as Kelly’s “boy toy,” packed a bag quickly — and left with her mother in a cab. It was revealed in a post-credits scene that Gardner actually returned to Kelly three days later. However, she escaped a second time, and is now home once more.