Investigators looking into ‘sex cult’ accusations from R. Kelly documentary

R. Kelly in 2013
Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP/File
R. Kelly in 2013

Prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta are seeking information from any potential victims or witnesses after the airing of an investigative documentary about R. Kelly that detailed allegations of more than two decades of sexual and physical abuse by the R&B singer.

“Please come forward,” said Kimberly Foxx, state’s attorney for Cook County, Illinois, at a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday. “There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you.”

The district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Georgia, began conducting interviews after the broadcast of “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part series that aired on Lifetime last week, according to the lawyer for a couple who say the singer is holding their daughter against her will.


Gerald Griggs, a lawyer for Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage, said that he was contacted by senior investigators from the district attorney’s office Monday and that he provided them with access to the Savages, along with additional witnesses.

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The television special included accusations, first reported by BuzzFeed last year, that Kelly has been keeping women in a sex cult in recent years. The episodes featured numerous women who described being controlled or abused by the singer, often beginning when they were teenagers. It also featured a series of former associates who said they had assisted Kelly with his sexual arrangements, as well as family members, including the Savages, of women who have lived with Kelly.

The Savages say that their daughter, Joycelyn, has been held and mistreated by Kelly, first in an Atlanta residence beginning in 2016, and then in Chicago. She is still believed to be living with him.

Foxx said that, since the broadcast of “Surviving R. Kelly” — which she called “deeply, deeply disturbing” — her office had heard from two families in the Chicago area who were concerned about their loved ones’ contact with Kelly recently. But she did not confirm the existence of any active criminal investigation.

Kelly has consistently denied all allegations regarding sexual misconduct and physical abuse against girls and women. In 2008, he was found not guilty of child pornography charges at a trial in Chicago.