Warning: The below may be triggering for victims of sexual abuse and assault.
For years, allegations of pedophilia and sexual abuse have been leveled against R. Kelly, with several women speaking up, including the R&B singer’s ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones in October 2017. But backlash against the performer didn’t reach a fever pitch until late April, when the Time’s Up movement called for companies to sever ties with him using the hashtag #MuteRKelly. Now, another one of Kelly’s accusers, Asante McGee, has opened up about her experience. And it’s devastating.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, published today, August 22nd, McGee, 38, describes the two years she spent with Kelly.
She noted that she met the singer after a concert in 2013 and first had sex with him after a show in February 2014. Eventually, she was required to accompany Kelly to tour stops and wait for him to call her. Once, he made her wait nine hours in a van.
In April 2016, McGee said she met a member of what Kelly called the “family”—other female fans he was “grooming.” McGee said Kelly forced the two women to engage in sexual activity while he filmed it, telling McGee that the woman was his “trainer.”
That June, Kelly reportedly took McGee to a house in Atlanta where he kept several other women—which is reminiscent of Jones’ claims that Kelly kept women in a “sex dungeon.” McGee recalled that Kelly forced the women in the house to wait for permission to leave their rooms, bathe, or eat. In public, they were required to wear loose-fitting sweats at all times.
McGee told Teen Vogue that Kelly “needs to be stopped.”
Kelly has repeatedly denied the allegations, even releasing a 19-minute song called “I Admit” in which he dismissed claims of abuse. It’s infuriating to know that Kelly has escaped consequences, despite the many consistent allegations leveled against him. We applaud McGee for taking a stand, and we hope that survivors of Kelly’s abuse will soon see the justice they deserve.
If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual abuse, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.