By Ndileka Swakamisa
R&B singer R. Kelly denied an article by US media outlet BuzzFeed News that he was keeping a household of young women in a “cult” atmosphere.
“Mr Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him. Mr Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name,” Kelly’s attorney Linda Mensch said in a statement.
Kelly has not been charged with any crime.
BuzzFeed said in an emailed statement, “We stand fully behind the story, which was based on nine months of interviews and old-fashioned investigative reporting.”
The BuzzFeed article became one of the top-trending items on social media on Monday. The article cited interviews with two families and three former associates of Kelly.
The article cited one mother saying the set-up was a “cult.”
The article said all of the women were over the age of consent. Some family members cited in the article expressed frustration at limited communications with their daughters.
BuzzFeed reported that two families had sought help from police but the women have rebuffed attempts by authorities or their parents to investigate or to bring them home.
Kelly is one of the most successful R&B artists of the last two decades, with three Grammy awards, 12 studio albums and some 40 million records sold worldwide.