Photo Source: Vulture

R. Kelly is certainly a divisive person when it comes to his connection with ephebophilia. There are usually two camps: those that defend him as fans of his music and those that have no tolerance for his behavior with minors. Ever since his 2008 trial on child pornography, that debate has heightened and still remains a hot point today. He has since been acquitted of such charges, but the effect of that infamous sex tape has not faded away in the public eye.

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Cut to now, where the stakes have gotten much higher. According to several parents’ reports to police, the R&B self-proclaimed “Pied Piper” is being accused of running a “cult” for teens and subjecting them to emotional and sexual abuse. Additionally, Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones and Asante McGee have provided more details from their perspective as former members of Kelly’s inner circle.

“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet,” said McGee. “But Robert is the devil.”

Per the three former inner circle members, Kelly oversees the “cult” full of teens that he dubs his “babies” which reportedly includes acts of sexual training of the teens by a “den mother,” videotaping sexual acts to be later shown to Kelly’s friends, and controlling rules such as having to notify Kelly when they want to leave the studio or their assigned rooms. Any deviation from the “house rules” are allegedly means to punishment.

Mack shut down any perspective groupie fantasies about R. Kelly who hope to live a “lavish” lifestyle once they become connected with the singer. “No. You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom. … [Kelly] is a master at mind control. … He is a puppet master,” Mack said.

In one instance, a couple parents noted their daughter — an aspiring singer — once lied to them about a weekend trip to visit a college, but was in fact planning to visit Kelly in a trip arranged by Mack. There were even phone recordings obtained between the daughter and Kelly in which Kelly said things like, ““I want you to get in the habit of telling me what color panties you got on every day.” He also noted, I’m more interested in developing you. Songs are not an issue. We can always do a hit song.”

This is just one of the many similar stories about young girls led astray toward a man who is reportedly a master at mind controlling vulnerable teens. As someone who is roughly 50 years old at this point and a superstar, there is a significant power dynamic in play in Kelly’s favor.

Contrastly, Kelly has maintained his innocence ever since the infamous trial for which has acquitted. “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life,” wrote R. Kelly’s attorney Linda Mensch, in a statement to Buzzfeed News. “He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”

Source: Buzzfeed News

What do you think about these new allegations? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice… with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

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