Editor’s Note: There have been updates to this story. Read the latest version here.
Joycelyn Savage, one of R. Kelly’s girlfriends who has supported him during his trial and incarceration, began writing about their relationship Saturday in a series of posts on Patreon – a crowdfunding membership platform.
Savage’s posts accuse the embattled singer of controlling and manipulative behavior as well as abuse.
Kelly has been charged with kidnapping, forced labor, and sexual exploitation of a child in federal court, and has pleaded not guilty. He was also charged with several counts of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Illinois and New York. Kelly has vehemently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct in the past.
Following the release of her posts, Savage’s family spoke with ABC, saying they think she finally worked up enough courage to talk about her experience because Kelly is in jail.
CNN has not been able to independently verify that the posts on Patreon are by Savage. CNN has reached out to Savage, her family and the attorney who has previously represented them. CNN is also aware of other Patreon posts, in which the woman levels several more accusations against the R&B singer, and is working to vet them as well.
In a tweet, the singer’s defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, responded to Savage’s post, saying she is “exploiting her long time, loving relationship with Robert … It was not until the money ran out that she decided anything was wrong.” The tweet was later removed for unknown reasons. Greenberg did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
The family speaks out
Savage hasn’t spoken to her family in several years, and her parents have been outspoken about their concerns for her well-being.
Jonjelyn Savage, Joycelyn’s mother, spoke to ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday about why she thinks her daughter was able to speak out after years of silence and defending R. Kelly.
“She’s ready to tell the truth,” Savage said of her daughter’s posts. “She’s came out with statements that we have been saying for the last two and a half years and it’s pretty accurate. I believe one of the primary reasons that she has the courage to speak up is because she knows he’s actually in jail.”
Gerald Griggs, the attorney representing the Savage family, told WXIA, an Atlanta area television news station, that Joycelyn Savage has not yet spoken to her family since the postings came out.
Her family has spoken with media about the situation in the past and even posted videos to YouTube addressing their concerns.
In one video, Savage’s father, Timothy Savage, appears to threaten Kelly, holding a baseball bat and saying “You know what time it is… I ain’t playing no m*****f****** games with you, boy. I gave you 120 hours to get back in touch with me.”
Joycelyn Savage defended R. Kelly in the past, and even recorded a response to her father asking him to stop.
“Dad you know everything that’s gone on with the media and the internet with what you have done is a complete disaster and you need to stop,” she said. “Because right now I am fed up with everything you are doing. You are embarrassing me and the whole entire family.”
CNN has reached out to Joycelyn Savage, other members of her family and the attorney who’s previously represented them.
Savage wrote that after meeting the singer in 2015 at a concert she was flown to his California studio with a friend. Kelly offered to help her pursue her dreams of become a singer and model, Savage wrote.
She moved in with him shortly after and said he lavished her with gifts, clothing and travel before things took a dark turn, she explained in the post.
Savage wrote in her post that after a few months, Kelly began exhibiting controlling behavior including giving her commands to call him Daddy and Master and raising his voice at her if she didn’t address him in the way he wanted.
She also said the singer was manipulative. “Robert likes to manipulate whoever he’s was in the room with even down to his own assistant. He didn’t care, everyone was in it for a check so they didn’t care either,” Savage wrote.
Savage alleged that she was constantly monitored by either Kelly or his staff. “I can say I didn’t have any type of privacy at all now that I think of it. If I showered one of his assistant would have to be by the door while I shower.”
When she would attempt to address her concerns about this treatment with Kelly, he would threaten to stop supporting her, saying, “All this can stop today, you want a career? Or do you want to live a normal life,” Savage wrote.