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See The Highlights

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On Friday (May 4) the Washington Post published a scathing piece on the evolution of R. Kelly’s command over a stable of young women he has long been alleged to keep around – and how his progressive implementation of rules they must abide by continues to keep them harbored under abusive conditions.

“How the music industry overlooked R. Kelly’s alleged abuse of young women” presents court documents, text messages, and the accounts of industry executives and staffers who claim to have attested to a culture of isolation that Kelly has imposed on women whose ages have regularly ranged between the middle to late teenage years.

Among those who spoke out in the article are six women who claim they were coerced and put their agency aside to join the group and adapt their daily protocol and routines to his liking.

Their names are Tracy Sampson, Patrice Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Asante McGee, Kitti Jones, and Lisa Van Allen. While a couple of them say they were underage when they met Kelly and the others admit they were of lawful age to consent, each of them eventually came to conclude Kelly had brought them into the fold only to systematically strip them of the liberty to operate naturally.

As the writer who put the report together goes uncovering a timeline that dates back to the early 90’s, studio engineer Peter Mokran, founder of Jive Records, Clive Calder, and others go into detail about how Kelly has always kept spaces set aside specifically for the women he travelled with and how there were always privacy restrictions that went unquestioned.

Two and a half decades later, much of the information that is alleged to have long been kept under wraps is now being pushed into the public light thanks to a campaign that gained steam with the recent involvement of the Time’s Up movement. And what started out as a back room in the studio for Kelly to lock himself in with the women back in the day, has raised increasing concerns that Kelly may be facilitating a cult.

Women are coming forth with stories of having their social media restricted, having to regularly give up their cellphones and cut off family and friends, and having to ask Kelly for permission to leave rooms they’ve been designated to. One account even tells of a time when a group of women were restricted to a room for so long without consent to egress that they went hungry and fatigued for hours and were forced to pee in cups.

Images of the room and the stains left by the urine were sent to RCA vice president of administration Nancy Roof by a studio rep. Via the Washington Post, they have now made it out to the public.

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