ATLANTA, Ga. — Joycelyn Savage, one of the women who was living with R. Kelly at the time of his arrest and previously defended him in interviews, shared her story over the weekend.
Someone claiming to be the 24-year-old took to Patreon, a paid membership forum, saying the singer was physically abusive and that she had two abortions. CBS news has not been able to verify its savage making the posts.
Savage reportedly met Kelly at a concert when she was just 19 years old. She moved in with him shortly after and said he lavished her with gifts, clothing and travel. He allegedly promised her that he would further her career, but then things took a turn for the worse. She said Kelly – who wanted to be called only “Master” or “Daddy” – cut off her phone and wouldn’t allow her to do anything “without him knowing first or his assistant.”
She also said the singer was manipulative.
“Robert likes to manipulate whoever he’s was in the room with even down to his own assistant. He didn’t care, everyone was in it for a check so they didn’t care either,” Savage wrote.
Savage alleged that she was constantly monitored by either Kelly or his staff.
“I can say I didn’t have any type of privacy at all now that I think of it. If I showered one of his assistant would have to be by the door while I shower.”
When she would attempt to address her concerns about this treatment with Kelly, he would threaten to stop supporting her, saying, “All this can stop today, you want a career? Or do you want to live a normal life,” Savage wrote.
She described how Kelly would also force her to say certain things when out in public or being interviewed.
“Imagine you being in my position but of course, you are quick to judge because you aren’t in my position. Imagine having a gun to your head while all of this is going down.”
She said it was like “being locked up like some damn animal.”
Attorney Gerald Griggs encouraged everyone not to rush to judgement in Savage’s case.
“And I would say to those individuals, listen to all the voices of the women who have already told you what happened in this case. Listen to the voices of the four separate grand juries that have indicted him. And wait and listen to the evidence that comes out in April when you start to see what’s happened over the last 25 years.”
When asked why she is sharing her story now, he replied “I think the change is based Mr. Kelly being in jail and the fact that he is not getting out anytime soon and has been denied bond at least twice. He is facing four separate indictments, two state court indictments, two federal indictments. And of course in federal court they have a 90 percent or 95 percent conviction rate, and the evidence against him is overwhelming. So I think she is starting to realize that he is not coming home, and it is time to move forward with her life.”
Kelly’s attorney responded to the allegations by saying, “It is unfortunate that Jocelyn now seeks to make money by exploiting her long time, loving relationship with Robert. Obviously if she were to tell the truth no one would pay so she has, unfortunately, chosen to regurgitate the stories and lies told by others for her own personal profit. We know the real facts, and it was not until the money ran out that she decided anything was wrong. Hopefully people will see it for the obvious profiteering it is.”
The family speaks out
Following the release of her posts, Savage’s family spoke with ABC, saying they think she finally worked up enough courage to talk about her experience because Kelly is in jail.
Savage hasn’t spoken to her family in several years, and her parents have been outspoken about their concerns for her well-being.
Jonjelyn Savage, Joycelyn’s mother, spoke to ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday about why she thinks her daughter was able to speak out after years of silence and defending R. Kelly.
“She’s ready to tell the truth,” Savage said of her daughter’s posts. “She’s came out with statements that we have been saying for the last two and a half years and it’s pretty accurate. I believe one of the primary reasons that she has the courage to speak up is because she knows he’s actually in jail.”
Gerald Griggs, the attorney representing the Savage family, told WXIA, an Atlanta area television news station, that Joycelyn Savage has not yet spoken to her family since the postings came out.
Her family has spoken with media about the situation in the past and even posted videos to YouTube addressing their concerns.
In one video, Savage’s father, Timothy Savage, appears to threaten Kelly, holding a baseball bat and saying “You know what time it is… I ain’t playing no m*****f****** games with you, boy. I gave you 120 hours to get back in touch with me.”
Joycelyn Savage defended R. Kelly in the past, and even recorded a response to her father asking him to stop.
“Dad you know everything that’s gone on with the media and the internet with what you have done is a complete disaster and you need to stop,” she said. “Because right now I am fed up with everything you are doing. You are embarrassing me and the whole entire family.”
CNN has reached out to Joycelyn Savage, other members of her family and the attorney who’s previously represented them.