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Woman Living With R. Kelly Says 'I'm Not Being Brainwashed,' But Questions Linger

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 18, 2017 3:19PM

One of the women living with R. Kelly, whose story became the subject of a concerning Buzzfeed article Monday morning after her parents claimed she was being held captive and forced to have sex in a "cult"-like environment, is now speaking out to deny the allegations.

The 21-year-old woman, identified as Joycelyn Savage, said in a video interview shared by TMZ that her parents' allegations are "just not right," and that she is doing fine.

"I am in a happy place with my life, I'm not being brainwashed or anything like that. I am totally fine. Everything is OK with me," she said. "Never been held hostage or anything like that of that nature."

The extensive Buzzfeed article focused on Joycelyn's story as told by her parents, but also included interviews with other women who claimed to be former members of R. Kelly's "inner circle." The people interviewed claimed that R. Kelly routinely searched for female, teenaged, aspiring musicians at concerts, offered to mentor them, and then required them to live with him in an Atlanta, Georgia or suburban Chicago home, where he controlled their access to a phone, what they could wear, whom they could speak to, and where they could go. The article also includes the disturbing claims that he required the young women to have sex with him on camera and that an older woman instructed them on how to have sex with him.

In her video response, Savage told a TMZ reporter that she is not in Georgia at the moment, but would not say where she is. She also would not answer questions about whether she lives with any roommates or whether she is free to go as she pleases.

Her father, Tim Savage, responded in another video, saying he is concerned that she will not say where her location is because she might not be allowed to. He also said he invites legal action from R. Kelly:

"Mr. R. Kelly, if you want to file a lawsuit, you should have filed it yesterday. I'm waiting on you," he said. "File the lawsuit, if that's what you want to do, I'll see you in court. File it, so everyone can see your dirty laundry. And Jocelyn, I'm praying for you baby. I'm praying for you."

Joycelyn's mother Jonjelyn Savage also held a press conference in Atlanta on Monday, claiming that their daughter has been "brainwashed to the point where she says anything he asks her to say. She's not the same Joycelyn that we knew," according to the New York Daily News.

R. Kelly's Chicago-based attorney Lisa Mensch released a statement denying the parents' accusations:

"Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name," the statement reads.