R. Kelly may be considering a move out of the country amid Georgia’s investigation into disturbing allegations made against him.
The R&B singer, whose alleged sexual misconduct was the subject of the headline-making Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, is reportedly looking to leave the United States. According to The Blast, sources close to Kelly’s alleged victims have heard rumors that the artist may seek asylum in another country, possibly somewhere in Africa.
The celebrity gossip rag also claims that loved ones of the women who were allegedly a part of Kelly’s rumored sex cult are scared that they’ll leave the country with him. The women’s families are reportedly hoping that authorities will soon be able to officially charge Kelly with a crime, so that his passport could potentially be frozen and he’ll be forced to stay in the United States.
As The Blast previously reported, the Fulton County District Attorney started investigating Kelly and his former home in Georgia. The mansion, which is located in Johns Creek, was highlighted in Surviving R. Kelly, when one of Kelly’s alleged victims Asante McGee walked through the property and recalled witnessing women being “held against their will.”
A woman named Joycelyn Savage — whose family claims Kelly made into a sex slave —was reportedly ordered to speak with the county’s district attorney about her experiences, and she is said to have been cooperative with authorities. It’s worth noting that Kelly’s manager, Don Russell, has been accused of threatening Savage’s parents for speaking with Lifetime for Surviving R. Kelly.
According to NBC News, alleged victim Faith Rodgers, who is represented by famed lawyer Gloria Allred, has also claimed that she’s been threatened since accusing Kelly of sexually assaulting her and giving her genital herpes. In a press conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, Rodgers alleged that she received a letter supposedly from Kelly that said that “details of [Rodgers’] sex life” would be revealed in court if she didn’t drop her civil lawsuit against the “I Believe I Can Fly” artist.
Chicago authorities are also reportedly looking into the singer’s past, though there’s reportedly no active investigation at this time. The State Attorney’s Office has reportedly asked any alleged victims or eyewitnesses to Kelly’s rumored behavior to come forward. As of Jan. 8, 2019, the State Attorney’s Office revealed that they’ve already communicated with two families with connections to Kelly.
The Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly aired over the course of three days, from Thursday, Jan. 3 to Saturday, Jan. 5. The program detailed allegations of “abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia” that have been made against Kelly throughout the years. “Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations have seemingly affected him. For the first time ever, survivors and people from R. Kelly’s inner circle, are coming forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental, and physical abuse,” Lifetime’s description of Surviving R. Kelly reads, in part. “They are now finally ready to share their full story and shed light on the secret life the public has never seen.”
Following the docuseries’ premiere, many artists have publicly condemned Kelly and his alleged behavior. Singer Omarion of the 2000s band B2K announced that his group would be retiring songs that were written by Kelly, including hits “Girlfriend” and “Bump, Bump, Bump,” after B2K’s 2019 reunion tour.
Lady Gaga also commented on the allegations against Kelly and apologized for using “poor judgment” when collaborating with him on the song “Do What U Want (With My Body).” In a statement posted to social media, she wrote, “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”
She continued, “I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in.” She also shared that she planned to take the track off of iTunes and others streaming services and noted that she wouldn’t ever work with Kelly again.
According to TMZ, Celine Dion removed her Grammy-nominated song “I’m Your Angel,” which Kelly wrote, from music streaming services. Chance the Rapper also took down his collab with Kelly, “Somewhere in Paradise.”
Kelly reportedly is not currently interested in fighting his former collaborators who removed their music from streaming platforms. Instead, he is said to be focused on filing a lawsuit against Lifetime, as reported by TMZ. The celebrity gossip rag claims that Kelly was upset at the “lies” shared in Surviving R. Kelly. Before the show aired, Kelly’s team reportedly sent Lifetime a cease and desist letter, but the network went ahead with the docuseries’ scheduled premiere (via TMZ).