R Kelly manager accused of threatening parents featured in Lifetime's Surviving documentary

Allegations against the controversial singer are addressed in a new six-part documentary

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Wednesday 09 January 2019 10:36 GMT
Alleged R Kelly victims go on Today show: 'you would address him as 'Daddy' or get slapped'

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R Kelly’s manager has been accused of threatening the parents of Jocylen Savage, one of the controversial R&B singer's alleged abuse victims, to dissuade them from appearing in the documentary Surviving R Kelly.

Timothy Savage, from Georgia, US, told an officer on 3 January that Don Russell texted him to say it would be best for him and his family if the documentary did not air, according to a Henry County police report.

Savage said that he and his wife were involved with Lifetime’s six-part series, which aired earlier this month and addresses the R&B singer’s controversial history, along with multiple allegations that he sexually abused women and underage girls.

They accused Kelly of keeping their daughter in a “sex cult” against her will. Joycelyn denied those claims in a video to TMZ in 2017, saying: “I'm fine and happy. I haven't been brainwashed.”

Kelly, who turned 52 on Tuesday 8 January, has categorically denied all of the allegations against him.

Russell called Savage while the officer was there, and Savage put the phone on speaker so the officer could listen, according to the police report.

During the call, Russell allegedly accused Savage of lying to Lifetime and said that if Savage continued to support the series, Russell and Kelly would be forced to release information that would paint Savage as a liar, which he warned would ruin Savage’s reputation, his business and his family.

The case is being forwarded to the criminal investigations division for review, Associated Press reports. Savage had previously contacted police to report harassment after an earlier call from Russell.

A Facebook page that attempted to “expose” R Kelly’s accusers was recently removed by Facebook for violating terms of service.

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Following the release of the Surviving documentary, TMZ reported that “[Kelly] and his camp” were controlling two sites – a Facebook page named “Surviving Lies” and an in-progress website with the same name – aiming to discredit his accusers and clear his name. It has not been confirmed whether Kelly is behind the sites.

The Facebook page was launched with a previously surfaced, unverified recording that allegedly contradicts the testimony of one of the women who appeared in the documentary, which addresses multiple accusations of abuse, predatory behaviour, and paedophilia. Kelly has consistently denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse made against him.

It also posted screenshots and images of alleged text messages between Kelly and some of his accusers, drawing more than 5,000 followers after it was launched.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the pulled page with the following response: “The page violated our Community Standards and has been removed. We do not tolerate bullying or sharing someone’s private contact information and take action on content that violates our policies as soon as we’re aware.

Back in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx addressed reporters after her office was inundated with calls about the allegations made in the documentary, some tied to his Chicago-area home.

Foxx watched the series herself and said she found it “deeply, deeply disturbing.”

“I was sickened by the allegations. I was sickened as a survivor. I was sickened as a mother. I was sickened as a prosecutor,” she said.

Kelly’s Chicago-based attorney, Steve Greenberg, said that the accusations in the Lifetime documentary are false.

“Ten and a half years after he was found innocent (at trial of child pornography charges) and to fill reality TV time — someone comes up with another round of stories,” he said in a statement. “No one has found any sex slaves or underage girls because there aren’t any.”

He also criticised Foxx for making an assessment of the allegations against Kelly “based on reality TV”.

According to sources via multiple publications, the Fulton County District Attorney's office is currently investigating sexual abuse allegations made against Kelly in the documentary.

Additional reporting via Associated Press

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