One of R. Kelly’s ex-girlfriends has come forward in a Rolling Stone article with new allegations of sexual, emotional and physical abuse against the R&B singer.
Kitti Jones, a former radio DJ, cataloged the entire dizzying, two-year relationship with the “Pied Piper” of R&B to the magazine, describing how they met (at an after-party following his Dallas concert), his “courteous courtship” of her, and the escalating incidents of abusive behavior that came to characterize their relationship.
The story follows a blockbuster BuzzFeed report from Jim DeRogatis, who has followed sexual abuse allegations against Robert Kelly for decades. That story details multiple claims that Kelly held women against their will in a “cult.” Jones was among DeRogatis’ sources.
Below are some of the most troubling, brutal allegations from Jones, according to the report:
On meeting R. Kelly at a hotel for the first time:
“I got there before he did because he of course doesn’t like to fly, so he’s taking the bus,” Jones says. She had sent Kelly “racy photos” while he was en route to the hotel and was excited to reunite face-to-face. As she waited in the hotel room for Kelly to arrive, she heard a knock at the door. “He brushed past me,” Jones says. “I’m thinking we’re going to hug or peck each other. But he plopped down on the couch and pulled out his penis and started pleasuring himself.”
Jones told Rolling Stone she was stunned by Kelly’s audacity and said that if he had been “a regular guy working at CVS” she would have been furious, but she was entranced by months of communication and flirting. Still, looking back, she said, there were warning signs:
“I was attracted to him and was just like, ‘Well, OK. Fine,’” she says. “Maybe he just has weird ways of getting off.” The two had oral sex that weekend, with Kelly, according to Jones, saying things like, “I gotta teach you how to be with me” and “I gotta train you.” “He was like a drill sergeant even when he was pleasuring me,” Jones says. “He was telling me how to bend my back or move my leg here. I’m like, ‘Why is he directing it like this?’ It was very uncomfortable.”
On how R. Kelly’s behavior changed once she moved out to Chicago to be with him:
Almost instantly upon moving to Chicago, Jones says, Kelly began governing nearly every detail of her life, starting with the requirement that she wear baggy sweatpants whenever she went out and text near-constant updates on her whereabouts. (A source who knew Kelly confirmed the singer’s demands on Jones to Rolling Stone.) Jones says she was forced to text either the singer or one of his employees for even the slightest request. (Sample text message: “Daddy, I need to go to the restroom.”)
On the day Jones confronted him about the infamous tape that shows the singer allegedly urinating on a teenage girl:
Jones had been living with Kelly for less than a month when she claims the first instance of physical abuse occurred, in November 2011. Jones says that on a return trip to Dallas around Thanksgiving, she saw for the first time the video at the heart of his child-pornography trial and challenged Kelly on the phone about it. “He said, ‘Bitch, don’t you ever fucking accuse me of something like that,’” Jones says. “He never had spoken to me like that before.”
Jones claims Kelly remained enraged when she flew back and met him at the airport. “My heart was just beating through my chest,” she says. “He just turned into a monster. I blamed myself ‘cause I was like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t’ve said anything.’” As they drove home, Jones says she repeatedly apologized while Kelly kicked her multiple times and delivered a series of open-handed slaps to her face. “I was putting my hand over my face and telling him I was sorry,” Jones says. “He would start kicking me, telling me I was a stupid bitch [and] don’t ever get in his business.” The next day, Jones says, the couple went shopping and neither spoke about the incident.
On how Kelly’s manipulation escalated when Jones was moved into a home with two of Kelly’s other girlfriends:
There were no locks on the doors, but cameras monitored every move and Kelly would punish the women for attempting to leave for any reason without permission. (The source who knew Kelly independently confirmed Kelly’s rules with his girlfriends to Rolling Stone.) Kelly would frequently take away Jones’ phone as punishment—sometimes as long as two months—cutting off her ability to request food or perform basic functions, according to Jones and the other source who knew him.
Two months into living at the studio, Jones says, Kelly began using starvation on her as punishment for not following his orders. Jones says the longest she went without food was two and a half days, though single days without a meal were not uncommon.
On how the singer forced Jones to have sex with other female partners:
Kelly would frequently fly girls in for sex, says Jones, and order her and his other girlfriends to hook up with them. “You can’t say no because you’re going to get punished,” she says. “You just become numb to what’s happening. It’s so traumatic the things that he makes you do to other people and to him.”
“He videotapes everything that he does, and sometimes he’ll just make you watch what he’s done to other girls or girls that he had be together,” she adds. “He would masturbate to that and then have you give him oral sex while he’s watching what he did with somebody else on his iPad.”
What is arguably most disturbing about Jones’ described relationship with Kelly is her self-admitted protectiveness of the singer, even after she said he routinely isolated her, demeaned her, starved her and forced her into nonconsensual sex acts. After Jones severed her romantic relationship with Kelly in 2013, she told Rolling Stone that she reached out to the singer after a tense video interview with the Huffington Post.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, poor thing,’” Jones told the magazine.
Now, Jones says, she is coming forward with her story because she wants other women to speak up about abuse they’ve suffered at Kelly’s hands, and to encourage the public to take the decades of allegations seriously.
“I want them to not be so dismissive towards the women that are speaking out,” says Jones, who, Rolling Stone reports, is currently exploring her legal options against the singer.
Despite the swirl of allegations that have followed Kelly throughout the career, there is currently no open criminal investigation against him.
Read more at Rolling Stone.