Last month, BuzzFeed published a scathing report accusing famed R&B singer R. Kelly of running a “sex cult” that preyed on underage girls.
Attorneys for Kelly denied the accusations, but now the author of the original piece, Jim DeRogatis, has published a follow-up interview with a woman who says she was personally victimized by the singer.
Jerhonda Pace claims she became involved in a sexual relationship with Kelly when she was just 16 years old.
Several years ago, Pace accepted a payout from Kelly’s team in order to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
After reading DeRogatis’ exposé, however, Pace decided that she could no longer remain silent in good conscience.
Pace says she met Kelly at a house party in 2009, and a sexual relationship developed shortly thereafter.
A fan of Kelly’s from childhood, Pace frequently cut class to attend his statutory rape trial the year prior.
She says Kelly was quick to exploit her worshipful fandom and quickly brainwashed her into a veritable sex slave.
In an account consistent with the appalling details in the original Buzzfeed piece, Pace says she was forced to follow a strict set of rules that included wearing baggy clothes so as not to attract other men, and asking permission to shower, eat, and leave the property where she lived with Kelly.
“I had to call him ‘daddy,’ and he would call me ‘baby,’” Pace says.
“He wanted me to have two pigtails, and I had to go out and find little schoolgirl outfits.”
Pace says she’s aware she’ll likely face a lawsuit from Kelly as a result of coming forward with her allegations but considers that a small price to pay if she can prevent others from suffering the way she did.
“If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that’s what I will do,” she tells Buzzfeed.
“I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him. He’s brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson.”
Pace is the fifth member of Kelly’s alleged sex cult to come forward with similar accounts of abuse and predatory behavior from the Grammy winner.
Attorneys for Kelly have already issued a statement denying her allegations:
“The allegations against Mr. Kelly are false, and are being made by individuals known to be dishonest,” reads a press release issued today.
“It is clear these continuing stories are the result of the effort of those with personal agendas who are working in concert to interfere with and damage his career. Mr. Kelly again denies any and all wrong doing and is taking appropriate legal action to protect himself from ongoing defamation.”
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.