A new BBC Three documentary sheds light on abuse accusations against the singer
In a new documentary about R. Kelly, the singer’s ex-girlfriend details the alleged sexual abuse she suffered after meeting him in 2011, claiming that she was treated like “one of his pets” in a “sex dungeon.”
“I was introduced to one of the girls that he told me he ‘trained’ since she was 14, those were his words,” Kitti Jones said of the musician (née Robert Kelly) in the BBC Three documentary R. Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes, a clip of which is above. “I saw that she was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I’d say and her mannerisms were like mine. That’s when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets. He calls them his ‘pets.’”
When reached by EW about the allegations made in the documentary, Kelly’s publicist said he had no comment. Kelly had earlier denied Jones’ allegations in a statement to PEOPLE.
According to Jones, Kelly “physically, mentally, verbally, and sexually” abused her. “I would go without eating for a couple days as punishment,” she told reporter Ben Zand, adding that disobeying him would result in her being “slapped, beaten, and kicked.”
Discussing the hitmaker’s mindset, Jones said, “He’s a narcissist. I think he gets some sort of satisfaction within himself knowing that he’s taking control over other people by physical abuse, mental, verbal, sexual.”
Lovell Jones, who once worked as a backup singer for Kelly, said in the documentary that he personally witnessed the 1994 wedding between Kelly (then age 27) and his young musical protegee Aaliyah (then age 15), which was annulled after Aaliyah admitted to lying about her age. Kelly produced Aaliyah’s first album, which bore the provocative title Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.
The documentary also includes an interview with studio engineer James Lee, who worked on Kelly’s 2000 album TP-2.com. Lee said he once saw Kelly make women pose in their underwear in the studio to inspire his music. “They were there for one thing, to service Rob,” Lee said. “When he was tired of you, you’re a Big Mac, when he’s done eating you, he throws the wrapper away.”
Kitti Jones — one of the women who has lodged sexual abuse claims against Kelly — first discussed the allegations in a Rolling Stone piece in October. She claimed that she was forced into sex acts with other women, witnessed Kelly urinating on women, and suffered physical abuse after mentioning his child-pornography trial, among other claims. (Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography but cleared of all charges in 2008.)
“Mr. Kelly is aware of the repeated and now evolving claims of [Ms. Jones],” a rep for Kelly said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time. “It is unfortunate that Ms. Jones, after public statements to the contrary, is now attempting to portray a relationship history with Mr. Kelly as anything other than consensual involvement between two adults. As stated previously, Mr. Kelly does not control the decision-making or force the actions of any other human being, including Ms. Jones, by her own admission. Any claim of wrongdoing of any kind or of mistreatment of any woman by him is false, ill-motived and defamatory.”
“R. Kelly Is Holding Women Against Their Will in a ‘Cult,’ Parents Told Police,” Jim DeRogatis’ 2017 report for BuzzFeed, included allegations that Kelly kept women in properties located in the Chicago and Atlanta suburbs. Kelly called the claims of abuse “a bunch of crap” on social media, and his then-lawyer Linda Mensch strongly denied the allegations in a statement to PEOPLE. “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him,” she said. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes is available now. Watch a clip above.