The family of an Atlanta woman they believe is being held by R&B singer R. Kelly interrupted a press conference held by the singer’s publicist in Midtown on Friday.
The publicist, Darrell Johnson, was talking to reporters about the arrest of Kelly on federal charges of enticing a minor for sexual activity and child pornography.
Kelly, who has owned multiple homes in North Fulton County, is accused of running an operation to recruit girls and women for sex and control them, according to the indictment. The accusations date back to January 1999.
For decades, Robert Sylvester Kelly has been accused of a slew of such sexual assault allegations, all of which he has denied.
Standing near 10th and Peachtree streets, Johnson had just started to talk about how Kelly was arrested Thursday while walking his dogs in Chicago.
“He was arrested. Nothing new, the same charges a decade ago,” Johnson said when he was interrupted by Timothy Savage, father of 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage.
“I don’t want to hear all that, bruh,” Timothy Savage said. “Where is my daughter at? R. Kelly is in there, right now, in jail. I want to know where my daughter is at, where is she at? Answer that question!”
Savage said he has not seen his daughter since December 2016. She has spoken to media to assure everyone she is OK and healthy.
But the family doesn’t believe that’s true and thinks Kelly has “brainwashed” the former Georgia Gwinnett College student.
“I met your daughter six times,” Johnson said. “I’ve seen her in and out of Trump Towers, I haven’t seen anything that I would say is suspicious or harmful to your daughter.”
Johnson said there had been some sort of negotiations with the Savage family in the past, but those had broken down.
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“These are grown women, I’m not in charge of them. I’m a crisis manager, I’m not a babysitter,” Johnson said.
These charges are similar those brought by Illinois prosecutors earlier this year.
Federal prosecutors wrote in the indictment that Kelly and his entourage would allegedly find girls and women at concerts and keep in touch with them, managing much of their lives.
The women and girls allegedly could not leave their room, go to the bathroom or eat without the permission of Kelly — prosecutors said the women and girls were required to call him “Daddy.”
When they weren’t with Kelly, the women and girls were ordered to wear baggy clothes and not look other men in the eye, according to the indictment.
Similar allegations came to light in July 2017 when BuzzFeed published an article claiming that Kelly “held women against their will in a cult” at a Johns Creek home.
Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage held a press conference outside the home during which they said their daughter Joycelyn was “beat” by Kelly and “part of the R. Kelly cult.”
Joycelyn later released a video through TMZ saying she was “in a happy place.” More accusers of Kelly have come forward since the original report; Kelly has continued to deny all allegations.
The parents said they haven’t spoken with their daughter since a three-minute phone call in March when Joycelyn Savage called them in their attorney’s office.
“I've told you guys a million, million times, that I'm OK and I'm very happy, you know where I'm at," Joycelyn Savage said on the call, which the attorney posted on Twitter.
Timothy Savage told reporters Friday that he hopes this recent arrest gives justice to his family and the others who believe the singer has manipulated their loved ones.
“This is like a living death for me and my family,” he said.
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