Woman Allegedly Held by R. Kelly Against Her Will Denies Reports: ‘I Am Not Being Brainwashed or Anything Like That’

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Photo: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET

A BuzzFeed investigative piece published Monday by reporter Jim DeRogatis alleges that singer R. Kelly has been holding several women in a “cult” at his multiple properties, controlling their physical movement, sexual activity, and communication with the outside world. Now one of the women in question has come forward in a TMZ interview to deny those claims. “I’m in a happy place with my life and I am not being brainwashed or anything like that,” Joycelyn Savage said in a video interview with the outlet. “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.” Savage denied being a hostage and distanced herself from her family’s claims to the contrary, but also declined to answer questions about her whereabouts, who else lives in her residence, and if she is “free to go.”

In the video, the 21-year-old repeats her age several times, seemingly emphasizing the fact that she is of legal age to consent to a relationship with Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. According to DeRogatis’s article, Savage had also responded to at least one previous check on her welfare by asserting that she is “fine and did not want to be bothered.” Savage’s family, including her father, Timothy, mother Jonjelyn, and sister Jai, gave a press conference on Monday reiterating their claims about Kelly, alleging that Joycelyn has Stockholm syndrome and will repeat what R. Kelly instructs her to say. The singer’s reps issued a statement on Monday refuting the report, claiming, “Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”

Woman Allegedly Held Hostage by R. Kelly Denies Claims