Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage via Getty Images
Caitlin Gallagher
October 24, 2017 12:36 pm

Allegations of sexual abuse have swirled around R. Kelly for years, and one of his ex-girlfriends just came forward with her story. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Kitti Jones exposed her abusive relationship with R. Kelly. While Kelly is a famous R&B singer with hits ranging from the Space Jam song “I Believe I Can Fly” to “Ignition (Remix),” you probably have never heard of Jones before. But Jones — and her allegations against Kelly — deserve your attention.

Unlike the girls featured in BuzzFeed’s article about Kelly’s alleged “cult” of girlfriends, Jones was a woman when she started dating Kelly. As Rolling Stone notes, she had an ex-husband and a son, and had been working as an on-air DJ for the Dallas hip-hop and R&B radio station 97.9 The Beat for six years before meeting Kelly in 2011.

Yet her age didn’t change Kelly’s alleged predatory behavior during their two-year relationship, as she outlines to Rolling Stone.

According to Jones, Kelly demanded she call him “daddy,” dictated their sexual encounters, and monitored her actions. Things became worse after she quit her job and moved in with him.

Jones said that Kelly physically abused her, and she claimed in the article that the abuse increased as she stayed with him. Other ways he would punish Jones were to take away her cell phone for extended periods of time (up to two months) and starve her. Jones said the longest she went without food was two-and-a-half days, but a single day with no food was common.

By 2013, Jones said that Kelly was forcing her and his other girlfriends to have sex with additional women he would bring in. After contemplating suicide or killing Kelly, Jones finally left him when she went home to Dallas to see her son, who had returned from living in Europe with his father. As for her years of alleged abuse, Jones said:

Meanwhile, Kelly denied all of Jones’ accusations in a statement from his representative to Rolling Stone.

According to her Twitter account, Jones has an upcoming book, I Was Somebody Before This…, and she tweeted about breaking her silence:

Since the in-depth Rolling Stone feature came out on October 23rd, many women have thanked Jones for speaking up on Twitter.

Jones, meanwhile, took to her Twitter account to say she isn’t sharing her story to convince people.

But people have been tweeting that they believe Jones, which is essential in helping other victims of sexual assault and abuse feel like they can share their own stories.

And others made comparisons to the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal, saying if you have been supporting alleged victims of Weinstein, you need to be doing the same for Jones and fellow victims of Kelly.

Along with Jones getting recognition for her bravery, so is Rolling Stone for providing her the chance to tell her story.

Jones herself acknowledged the publication, when she tweeted, “my purpose was to make sure my story was done with Real journalist who gave a damn and respected my truth I luv @RollingStone for that!”

In the Rolling Stone article, Jones said that by openly discussing her abuse, she wants others to “not be so dismissive towards the women that are speaking out.”

“It pisses me off that people that really did suffer and go through the things that they did and wanted to kill themselves are still ashamed, in hiding, embarrassed, and just afraid overall to speak out. The backlash from it will make you feel like [you wish you’d] never talked about it,” Jones said. “And all this has been replaying in my head and I’m like, ‘Fuck that. I’m not letting this be me.'”

And we’re grateful that Jones isn’t letting backlash deter her from speaking her truth.

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