Originally reported by BuzzFeed, the story revealed disturbing details regarding women between the ages of 18-26 who are reportedly being held captive in two of his properties in Chicago and Atlanta. According to the story, Kelly controls every aspect of their lives, including “what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”
If Kelly’s rules are broken, in response, the crooner physically and verbally abuses the women, according to the article. “We must not let habitual abusers float above justice simply because they are rich and famous,” the Care2 petition reads. “Let’s work together to turn R. Kelly into a symbol for victim’s rights, reminding abusers everywhere that no one is untouchable.”
After the story made headlines Monday, Kelly’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, said in a statement to Pitchfork that her client “unequivocally denies” the allegations. “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him,” Kelly’s lawyer, Linda Mensch, told Pitchfork in a statement. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
Earlier this week, one of Kelly’s alleged captives spoke out during an interview with TMZ. “I am in a happy place in my life, and I’m not being brainwashed or anything like that,” said 21-year-old Jocelyn Savage. “I just want everybody to know, my parents and everybody in the world, that I am totally fine. I’m happy where I’m at, and everything is okay with me…I’ve never been held hostage or anything of that nature.”
As for the petition, it currently has more than 9,000 signatures, heading toward a 10,000-person goal. “Care2 members have routinely spoken out loudly to stop serial sexual predators to whom society has given a pass, including Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and Dr. Luke,” the Care2 petition reads. “It’s time to speak out just as loudly against R. Kelly.”
Check out the petition here.