Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2017 Contents A34 life
guardian.co.tt Friday, August 25, 2017
R Kelly denies
A 24-year-old woman is alleging
she had a sexual relationship with
singer R Kelly when she was a teen.
Jerhonda Johnson Pace told Buzz-
feed she was 15 and a fan when she met
the singer in 2008 outside the Chicago
courtroom where he was on trial for
child pornography charges.
Now a married mother of three,
Pace alleges that she began a sexual
relationship with Kelly after he was ac-
quitted of those charges. She was 16 at
the time, younger than the 17-year-old
age of consent in Illinois.
CNN has attempted to reach Pace
for additional comment. Pace told
the publication that despite having
signed a nondisclosure agreement for
which she received payment from Kel-
ly, she said she felt
compelled to come
forward after a recent
Buzzfeed report that
included new alle-
gations that Kelly is
controlling a group
of women (none of
whom are minors) in
what some of their
parents describe as
an abusive "cult."
"If I can speak out
and I can help them
get out of that situ-
ation, that's what I
will do," Pace said.
"I didn't have an-
ybody to speak up on
my behalf when I was
going through what
I was going through
Kelly has denied
any wrongdoing and has not been
charged with any crimes connected
with the allegations.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kelly's
publicist, Trevian Kutti denied Pace's
"The allegations against Mr Kelly are
false, and are being made by individ-
uals known to be dishonest. It is clear
these continuing stories are the result
of the effort of those with personal
agendas who are working in concert to
interfere with and damage his career,"
the statement read.
"Mr Kelly again denies any and all
wrongdoing and is taking appropriate
legal action to protect himself from
Kelly has been embroiled in con-
troversy since an explosive Buzzfeed
article last month claimed the singer
is holding a group of adult women
against their will as part of what some
of their parents say is a "cult."
A group of people cited in the orig-
inal article have claimed that their
daughters are a part of an entourage of
at least six women attached to Kelly.
Their ages given in the article were 31,
26, 25, 21, 19 and 18.
The only woman from the group to
go public so far was the then-21-year-
old Joycelyn Savage, who denies she is
being held against her will.
"It just came to a point where it
definitely has got out of hand, so, you
know, I just want everybody to know---
my parents and everybody in the
world---that I'm totally fine," she said
in a video released by TMZ.
"I'm happy where I'm at and
everything is OK with me."
Her parents, Atlanta, Georgia res-
idents Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage,
have been outspoken in their belief
that their daughter is being pressured
to say she is fine.
In a statement provided to CNN
Tuesday by his attorney, Timothy
Savage reasserted that his daughter
"dropped out of college and disap-
peared," that he and his wife "have not
seen or had a conversation with our
daughter since De-
cember of 2016," and
that she didn't attend
He responded to
he has a "personal
"We do have a per-
sonal agenda and that
is to see our daughter
again," the elder Sav-
age said in his state-
ment. "Mr Kelly has
a concert in Atlanta
on August 25th. If Mr
Kelly has any shred
of human decency,
then he will allow our
family to see Joycelyn
this weekend without
The couple added
they are prepared to pursue legal ac-
tion to ensure their daughter is safe.
Kelly has a long history of accusations
of impropriety with young women.
The singer was 27 years old in
1994 when he reportedly married his
15-year-old protegee, singer Aaliyah.
The marriage was annulled after
Aaliyah's family became aware of it,
the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Two years later, Tiffany Hawkins
filed suit against him, as well as his
record, publishing and management
companies, claiming personal injuries
and emotional damage arising from
what she alleged was a sexual rela-
tionship she had with Kelly, which she
said began when she was 15 and ended
when she was 18.
That case was settled out of court---
as was a suit brought in 2001 by former
Epic Records intern Tracy Sampson,
who claimed she began a sexual rela-
tionship with the singer when she was
17. Kelly was not charged criminally in
either case. In 2002, Kelly was charged
with 21 counts of child pornography
related to his allegedly videotaping
himself having sex with an unidenti-
fied underage girl.
The case went to trial in 2008, by
which point he was facing only 14
counts. He was acquitted on all charg-
Singer R Kelly denies any wrongdoing in the most recent allegations.
Pace said that
despite having signed
agreement for which
she received payment
from Kelly, she felt
compelled to come
forward..."If I can
speak out and I can
help them get out of
that situation, that's
what I will do. I didn't
have anybody to speak
up on my behalf when
I was going through
what I was going
through with him."
R Kelly has been
embroiled in controversy
since an explosive
Buzzfeed article last
month claimed the singer
is holding a group of
adult women against
their will as part of what
some of their parents
say is a "cult."
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