R. Kelly Accuser Comes Forward, Claims He Paid Her to Keep Quiet
Just over a month ago, BuzzFeed News published an incendiary Jim DeRogatis-written piece claiming R. Kelly, who's been sued for statutory rape in the past, was running an abusive, underground sex cult comprised of young women he'd recruited through the music scene. Now, BuzzFeed is reporting on Jerhonda Pace, a 24-year-old who says she was a victim of the singer's abuse.
In the report, Pace says she met Kelly while he was standing trial for 14 counts of making child pornography back in 2008. She was 14 at the time and known by the name of Jehronda Johnson. A little over a year later, when she was 16, she says she was invited to Kelly's mansion, where the two engaged in oral sex during one of their very first encounters.
Pace, who's now a mother of three, claims Kelly attempted to ensure she wouldn't speak on the matter by having her write and sign letters confessing she'd stolen from him and accusing her parents of trying to blackmail him out of some money. For her part, Pace says none of the charges she was forced to write about were true.
She alleged Kelly gave her alcohol on June 9, 2009 just before the two had sex. Pace goes on to say she revealed to Kelly her actual age on July 17 of that same year, and that she and Kelly had sex multiple times over the proceeding months. She says Kelly filmed many of their sexual encounters without her permission.
In an interesting note, Pace lists some peculiar rules she was required to follow when dealing with Kelly—many of which were cited by former members of Kelly's alleged "sex cult" in DeRogatis' BuzzFeed piece last month. Pace says she wasn't allowed to bring her cell phone, that she had to wear baggy clothes and that she was prohibited from using the bathroom, eating, showering or leaving without Kelly's permission.
According to Pace, she faced physical and mental abuse whenever she'd break the R&B singer's rules. She says her relationship with Kelly ended after he said she'd been caught texting. “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on," she tells BuzzFeed News.
Some time later, Pace hired attorney Susan E. Loggans to represent her in court, and Loggans in turn had the teenager take a lie detector test in 2010. A short time later, Kelly negotiated a settlement for a signed nondisclosure agreement and a guarantee that she wouldn't pursue any additional charges or make any more claims against the controversial R&B star.
Pace knows she could very well find herself in the line of legal fire after speaking out against Kelly, as she's breaking the NDA she signed, but it's a price she's willing to pay if it means protecting other women from Kelly's abuse.
“If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that’s what I will do,” says Pace. “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.”
DeRogatis and BuzzFeed have reportedly managed to support Pace's story by contacting people with firsthand knowledge of the entire situation. They've also reviewed Pace's aforementioned polygraph test, drafts of settlements between herself and Kelly, a probate court document to establish Pace's estate, and a payment from Kelly's management comment.
Kelly's reps have vehemently denied Pace's allegations: “The allegations against Mr. Kelly are false, and are being made by individuals known to be dishonest. 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.”
Kelly hasn't said too much since BuzzFeed's original story, but Pace's claims in conjunction with interviews with former members of Kelly's circle don't bode too well for him. As of a couple of weeks ago, there is no criminal investigation into Kelly in Georgia, where he's said to be running this alleged sex cult.
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