R. Kelly responds to docuseries through lawyer, denies allegations of sexual abuse

Steven Greenberg, an attorney for embattled singer R. Kelly, told ABC News all the claims in the Lifetime docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" are false.

Credit: ABC News

Combined ShapeCaption
Steven Greenberg, an attorney for embattled singer R. Kelly, told ABC News all the claims in the Lifetime docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" are false.

Credit: ABC News

Credit: ABC News

An attorney for embattled singer R. Kelly is refuting all the claims of a Lifetime docuseries alleging he held women captive at his homes in metro Atlanta and Chicago and subjected them to physical and emotional abuse, despite not having seen the series himself.

Steven Greenberg said in an interview with ABC News he did not need to watch “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part, three-hour series that aired on the network last week, to know its claims were untrue. He has seen “snippets,” he said.

“We know what happened, and we know those things didn’t happen,” Greenberg said in the interview, which aired Friday on “Good Morning America.” “The man was not operating a harem, or a sex cult, or holding people hostage or anything like that.”

The 52-year-old Grammy-winning singer, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been accused of brainwashing women who live at his homes in Chicago and Johns Creek. Greenberg said he’s spoken with two women currently living with Kelly, and they are happy in their relationships with the singer, ABC News reported.

RELATED: R. Kelly accused of abusing women, running 'cult' in Johns Creek

One woman’s parents, Tim and JonJelyn Savage, told Channel 2 Action News they haven’t seen their daughter Joycelyn in more than two years and claim Kelly is holding her against her will. Through their attorney, the Savages have begged the singer to let their daughter go.

MORE: 'Let these girls go': Georgia family begs R. Kelly to stop alleged abuse against women

The metro Atlanta couple is among a number of accusers, including Kelly’s ex-wife, ex-girlfriends and former employees, featured in the docuseries, which has garnered national attention and put pressure on authorities to investigate its claims.

Kelly’s oldest daughter, the singer Buku Abi, took to Instagram Thursday to apologize to the families hurt by her father’s alleged actions. She has been estranged from Kelly for some time.

“The same monster you all confronting me about is my father,” she said in one post. “I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”

ALSO: R. Kelly's daughter Buku Abi distances herself, family from singer

In the last week, Kelly has consistently been a trending topic on Twitter, and several celebrities have denounced him, including Lady Gaga, who pulled her 2013 collaboration with the singer from streaming services.


Greenberg said Lady Gaga knew about the “rumors” surrounding Kelly when they worked together.

“What has changed between then and now?” he said in the ABC News interview. “I’ll tell you what’s changed between then and now: She says, ‘If I don’t disclaim my association with him, it might hurt my chance to get an Oscar.’”

Greenberg claims the Savage family is also speaking against his client for their own personal gain.

“When (Tim Savage) first made the allegations, he had his younger daughter present a video blasting R. Kelly, saying she’s going to be a rap star,” he said.

As for allegations Kelly was involved in sexual relationships with underage women, Greenberg said they are untrue. When he married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994, Kelly did not know she was 15 because she lied about her age, he said.

Greenberg is hoping Kelly decides to sue Lifetime for defamation.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office reached out to the Savages and other alleged victims after the series aired, the family’s lawyer told Channel 2.

MORE: Report: R. Kelly being investigated by Fulton DA after docuseries abuse allegations

TMZ reported Tuesday that the DA's office opened an investigation into the accusations leveled against Kelly, but officials would not confirm that claim. DA spokesman Chris Hopper told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on multiple occasions that the office had no comment on the matter.

About the Author