“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,” they wrote. “We deny the many dark descriptions put forth by instigators and liars who have their own agenda for seeking profit and fame.”
They also said, “All of the women targeted by the current media onslaught are legal adults of sound mind and body, with their own free will. Law enforcement officials in Atlanta and Chicago previously have made ‘wellness’ visits to check on the women in question and have found nothing to cause alarm.”
Earlier this week, the Time’s Up movement launched a campaign specially targeting Kelly over the the sexual abuse allegations against him.
“We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly's abuse made by women and their families for more than two decades now. And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us — their time is up,” the organizers wrote in a statement.
The social media campaign #MuteRKelly, which seeks to stop his music from being played and cancel his concerts, launched last year. Time’s Up said it would be collaborating with those activists.
Although Kelly is not facing any criminal charges and is not known to be under investigation, he has been accused of many crimes over the years, which he has denied.
A 2017 BuzzFeed article said the Grammy-winning artist "held women against their will in a cult" at his homes in two cities, including one in metro Atlanta.
Kelly’s attorney at the time, Linda Mensch, sent a statement to the AJC refuting the claims in Buzzfeed.
“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him,” the statement said. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
In April 2018, Mensch and Kelly’s assistant resigned from their positions after working with the entertainer for years.
In 2008, he was acquitted on 14 charges of making child pornography.