Following, a BuzzFeed report that R. Kelly is allegedly keeping a group women in a "cult" against their will, a Care2 petition calling for Sony Music Entertainment to drop the singer from the label has received over 10,000 signatures.
We must not let habitual abusers float above justice simply because they are rich and famous,” the petition reads. “Let’s work together to turn R. Kelly into a symbol for victim’s rights, reminding abusers everywhere that no one is untouchable.”
For the BuzzFeed report, published Monday, journalist Jim DeRogatis spoke to multiple parents who said that Kelly recruited their daughters by promising help with their musical careers and is now keeping them in a "brainwashed" state against their will between two of his properties in Chicago and Atlanta. Three women who said they were former residents at R. Kelly's also spoke out about their treatment, recalling that Kelly would record their sexual encounters and verbally and physically abuse them when they broke his strict rules.
"Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name," Kelly's lawyer Linda Mensch said in a statement on Monday.
One of the women who R. Kelly is allegedly keeping captive spoke out on Tuesday, telling those watching that she had "never been held hostage" and that the accusations were false. “I just want everybody to know, my parents and everybody in the world, that I am totally fine," she said.
A representative for Sony Music Entertainment was not immediately available for comment.