R Kelly Faces Fresh Allegation of Underage Sex and Physical Abuse

 R. Kelly performing in 2015. Photograph: Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images
R. Kelly performing in 2015. Photograph: Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images

Allegedly breaking a non-disclosure agreement, Jerhonda Pace claims the R&B singer ‘slapped and choked and spat on’ her and that he had sex with her below the age of consent


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “R Kelly faces fresh allegation of underage sex and physical abuse” was written by Ben Beaumont-Thomas, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 22nd August 2017 12.26 UTC

Following a recent spate of allegations that he was brainwashing women in a cult-like setup, another woman has accused R&B singer R Kelly of physical abuse and underage sex.

Speaking to Jim DeRogatis of Buzzfeed, who has reported on allegations against Kelly for many years, Jerhonda Pace says that she lost her virginity to Kelly aged 16, one year below the age of consent in the US state of Illinois where the incident took place. She broke off contact with Kelly after an incident claiming: “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on” by him.

Pace chose not to press criminal charges, saying “it would probably be like it was last time, where he wouldn’t get convicted”, referring to Kelly being cleared of making child pornography in 2008. She instead says she negotiated a settlement payment, and signed a non-disclosure agreement, which she is now breaking with the new revelations.

Pace, now 24, says she attended the 2008 court hearings to support Kelly, and that a member of his team contacted her on MySpace afterwards. For the next seven months Kelly and Pace had a sexual relationship. “I had to call him ‘daddy,’ and he would call me ‘baby.’ He wanted me to have two pigtails, and I had to go out and find little schoolgirl outfits,” Pace told Buzzfeed.

Last month, a number of women went public with claims that Kelly was a “puppet master” who kept them in a cult-like controlling environment, where they were expected to have sex with him and follow rules regarding their freedom of movement, phone usage, diet, clothing and even use of the toilet. Parents of the women involved say they have been unable to contact them, although one, Jocelyn Savage, has asserted that she is safe. Pace says she was subject to Kelly’s rules, and endured mental and physical abuse if she broke them and she alleges that a female friend of hers is one of those currently involved with him.

“If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that’s what I will do,” she told Buzzfeed. “I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him. He’s brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson.”

Kelly has not responded to Pace’s case in particular; he has not yet responded to Buzzfeed after they tried to reach him for comment. But when the “cult” accusations were made, he strenuously denied the charges. “Mr Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name,” his lawyer said.

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