Not-so-fun fact: A perfunctory search of “R. Kelly” on our publishing platform brings up dozens of articles alleging years of sexual predation and abuse by the still-enduring R&B singer, featuring testimonials from everyone from his ex-wife to former members of the “sex cult” Kelly purportedly maintains in several homes.
Now, in a new interview in Teen Vogue, former Kelly “superfan” and purported one-time associate Asante McGee gives skin-crawling details about her two year relationship with Kelly, echoing many other accusers as she explains how what she’d expected to be a “one night stand” escalated into years of gaslighting, grooming, coerced sex acts and emotional abuse before she finally escaped Kelly’s Atlanta home.
“There’s two parts of him. There’s R. Kelly and there’s Robert. Going in, I saw R. Kelly,” McGee told Teen Vogue, claiming that Kelly specifically preys upon his fan base. Her testimonial was first included by Kelly profiler Jim DeRogatis in a July 2017 exposé for Buzzfeed News, but speaking with Teen Vogue contributor Ida Harris, McGee goes into further detail about the treatment she experienced and witnessed while in Kelly’s association; details that include familiar motifs like being videotaped, having her food restricted and being forced to wear loose clothing, ask permission to leave or enter a room, and stand to greet Kelly, calling him “Daddy” at all times.
“When he said ‘every time a king enters the room, you stand up’ — you stand up,” McGee told Teen Vogue. “I don’t care if he goes back and forth ten times, you better stand up and kiss him each time he comes in and out that room.”
McGee also alleges that Kelly had a ongoing fixation with the youngest woman among the many who lived in his Atlanta home; all of whom were “on call” for his sexual pleasure. That accusation is consistent with Kelly’s rumored marriage to a then 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, and child pornography charges leveled against against Kelly in 2002, which were later dismissed in 2008. McGee, who’d ignored the allegations when she initially opted to engage with Kelly, now says that had she followed the allegations more closely, it might’ve “set off an alarm” that may have saved her from years of abuse.
“I saw a side of him abusing women mentally, physically and sexually. I knew at that point ... I had to go.” McGee told Harris. “This was not what I wanted, this is not how I should be treated, and no other woman should be treated that way.”
But McGee contends her abuse didn’t end when she finally maneuvered an escape from Kelly’s clutches (for which she claims he demanded she “apologize”). As she’s become one of several to come forward with her story, she’s faced backlash from those who consider her complicit in her own abuse.
People [on social media] say I’m lying, I’m mad because he left me. I’m too old … I’m not his type ... People don’t realize the process and they think I’m just coming out. I was the first person [who had lived as part of Kelly’s alleged harem] to speak [to a reporter] on the record. When I left, my goal was to get the girls home to their parents. I never intended for it to go where it is.
But McGee is continuing to speak, because in her words, R. Kelly “needs to be stopped.”
“He is ruining young girl’s lives,” she said. “He’s ruining women period. These young girls don’t deserve that.”