In a lengthy Rolling Stone article, Kitti Jones, a former personality for DFW hip-hop/R&B station KBFB/97.9 “The Beat,” alleges that she suffered abuse during a two-year relationship with R&B superstar R. Kelly.
Kelly has told the magazine that the allegations are false. And it’s a long list, not all of which are detailed below.
According to the article, things began in June 2011, when Kelly performed at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. Jones, a longtime Kelly fan, had seen him in concert seven times since his solo debut, “12 Play,” came out in 1993. She missed the 2011 Verizon show — because she was helping set up a Beat-sponsored after-party at Fat Daddy’s in Mansfield.
Jones met Kelly at the after-party, she tells the magazine, and told him that she was upset that she’d missed his show. He invited her to the next stop on the tour. He also, she says, gave her his phone number and told her to text him her number. When she texted, she says, he replied, saying to always call him “daddy” — and never call him Rob (Kelly’s full name is Robert Kelly).
She left quickly afterward, she tells the magazine, adding that Kelly called at 3 a.m. that night to ask where she’d gone.
According to the article, Jones says that began a two-year relationship “rife with alleged physical abuse, sexual coercion, emotional manipulation and a slew of draconian rules that dictated nearly every aspect of her life.”
Kelly, whose music is often sexually explicit, has a long history of sexual scandals and accusations against him. In the summer, Rolling Stone ran a timeline (which is linked in the Jones story), starting in 1994, when the then-27 Kelly married 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah. There are also charges and allegations of battery and (separately) group sex with minors; a Chicago sex-crimes unit investigation of the singer; an “inconclusive” sex tape of the singer and a possibly underage partner sent to the Chicago Sun-Times; and more dating to this year.
In July of this year, Jim DeRogatis, a Chicago-based rock critic and journalist (and former Rolling Stone senior editor), wrote an article for BuzzFeed headlined “R. Kelly Is Holding Women Against Their Will In A “Cult,” Parents Told Police.” Jones also appears in that article as one of three former members of Kelly’s inner circle who told DeRogatis that “six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and he controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”
Initially, Jones told Rolling Stone, she and Kelly spoke regularly via phone and text for two months before they met again, this time in Denver. She waited in his hotel room where upon his arrival, she says, he immediately sat down on a couch and “started pleasuring himself.”
A sexual relationship began that weekend, Jones tells the magazine, with Kelly “like a drill sergeant” even during sex. She adds that he sent her flowers and gifts at work, and that he made her feel better after she had been divorced for a couple of years. Male employees of Kelly were instructed not to talk to or interact with any woman around the singer, she says.
In 2011, she quit her job at the Beat and moved into Kelly’s Chicago apartment. She tells Rolling Stone that that was when he began dictating nearly every detail of her life, including what she was to wear outside the apartment (baggy sweatpants). She also was told to keep in constant touch about her whereabouts. She could travel back to the Dallas area, she says, but she had to keep in touch with updates to Kelly.
In November 2011, Jones tells the magazine, she saw a video at the heart of a case in which Kelly had been indicted on multiple child-pornogrpahy charges. (Kelly was found not guilty on 14 counts in a 2008 trial.) When she confronted him about that, he told her, in words Star-Telegram standards won’t allow us to print, not to ever accuse him of something like that, Jones says. When she returned to Chicago, she says, he was still enraged and kicked her and slapped her on the ride home while she apologized to him.
She tells the magazine that Kelly abused her physically about 10 times during the first year of their relationship, and more during the second year. But when she went along on his two-month Single Ladies Tour in the summer of 2012, “he treated me like a princess,” she tells Rolling Stone. “I just thought, ‘Why would I walk away from this?” She even appeared in an onstage skit in which she was chained inside a cage.
Jones tells Rolling Stone that in 2013, Kelly moved her out of the Chicago apartment and into a room at his nearby recording studio, where two of his other girlfriends were living (she was allegedly moved out of the apartment to make room for yet another girlfriend). Again, there were strict rules, and cameras monitoring the women’s moves, and, they were punished if they attempted to leave their rooms without his permission, according to the article. Jones says that Kelly began using starvation as a form of punishment, the most extreme case being when she went 2 1/2 days without a meal.
Physical abuse increased, as did food and phone deprivation, she says. She tells Rolling Stone that she even considered suicide. But in September 2013, she left for good. She and the singer stayed in touch by phone, and the conversations were amicable. But, she says, when she visited him on his tour bus after a Dallas show, he assaulted her.
Since the end of 2013, Jones has been trying to rebuild her life, she tells the magazine, including working on resuming her radio career. She still has protective feelings toward Kelly, whose traumatic past includes the deaths of his mother and his childhood girlfriend, the magazine reports. But she says she’s also spent a lot of that time dealing with survivor’s guilt.
A representative for Kelly wrote in a statement to Rolling Stone, “ "Mr. Kelly is aware of the repeated and now evolving claims of [Ms. Jones]. It is unfortunate that Ms. Jones, after public statements to the contrary, is now attempting to portray a relationship history with Mr. Kelly as anything other than consensual involvement between two adults. As stated previously, Mr. Kelly does not control the decision-making or force the actions of any other human being, including Ms. Jones, by her own admission. Any claim of wrongdoing of any kind or of mistreatment of any woman by him is false, ill-motived and defamatory.”
Jones tells the magazine that she is setting up a nonprofit called Stop Protecting Your Abuser. “By me being silent, it allowed him to feel untouchable,” she says in part in the Rolling Stone article. “Staying silent absolutely protects your abuser.” She says Kelly called her in May of this year, telling her that she couldn’t say that he treated her well. She says she was scared during the conversation, which is the last time she communicated with him.
For the full Rolling Stone story on Jones, go here.