Parents of Alleged R. Kelly 'Sex Cult' Member Open 'Abuse Hotline'

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R Kelly performs at the Foxwoods Resort on July 16, 2015 in Ledyard, Conn.

'Where there's smoke, there's fire,' Timothy Savage says.

The parents of Joycelyn Savage claim their daughter is being held against her will by R. Kelly. Now, they've set up a special hotline to help other alleged victims of the singer. 

Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage tell Billboard they set up the Help Break the Silence About R. Kelly hotline (678.744.3185) about a week ago. The number was recently reposted by the official Instagram feed of the Mute R Kelly organization with a message explaining the goal of the hotline.

"An R. Kelly abuse hotline has been created to help women who ever experienced domestic violence or a criminal encounter by #rkelly," it reads. "Please leave a message... if you have been violated, had an underage encounter, or contracted an std by @rkelly." 

Kelly has steadfastly denied allegations of sexual abuse and sexual assault that have been lodged against him over the past several years, mainly within a series of bombshell reports that claim he has been involved in domineering relationships with a series of young women, some allegedly beginning in their late teens. The Savages claim they have not spoken to their daughter since Dec. 2017 (or seen her since a year before that), though in May 2018, Joycelyn told TMZ that the accusations were false, calling them "just rumors."

"As parents, we're trying to do everything we can to see our daughter and make sure she's in good health," Timothy Savage tells Billboard, adding that the Savages have heard through sources inside Kelly's camp that Joycelyn is currently not in good health. Tuesday (Oct. 16) was a particularly difficult day for Timothy Savage to talk about the hotline, because it also happens to be his birthday. "I cry on this day as a father because this is the day I was born...it's a day my daughter would never forget, and the past two years I haven't received a message from my daughter [on my birthday]," he says.

The Savages say they've averaging about 15 calls a day, with more than 100 messages to date, about one-third of which appear credible enough to forward to local authorities in Georgia and to the FBI. Billboard dialed the hotline on Tuesday morning -- where tipsters are asked to leave a message with their information and await a response -- and Timothy Savage returned the call within 20 minutes. The couple are personally screening the messages along with the assistance of a former Kelly confidant to filter out prank calls or angry mesages from Kelly defenders, then reaching out to individuals with possible leads that could be verified by authorities. A spokesperson for Kelly could not be reached for comment at press time.

BuzzFeed first reported in 2017 that the singer has kept a group of young women in his home in what has been called an abusive "sex cult" for several years, manipulating them and controlling every aspect of their lives. He has denied allegations of misconduct. Kelly has been dogged by allegations of sexual impropriety with young women dating back to 1994, when it was reported that the then-27 year-old singer married a then-14-year-old Aaliyah in a secret wedding ceremony in Chicago. 

Timothy Savage says the case has completely taken over their lives. The couple have shut down the two boutiques they used to own outside Atlanta after spending nearly $300,000 of their savings trying to track Joycelyn down. "I'd burn through any amount to get my daughter home or any of the other girls home to their families," Savage says, adding that the couple have endured death threats in the mail, as well as suspicious vans and cars driving by and parking outside their home over the past two years. "We don't do any other work but this full time."

In the wake of the recent sentencing of Bill Cosby to 3-10 years in prison on sexual assault charges, Jonjelyn laments that more is not being done to bring Kelly to justice. "Look at the allegations!" she says, as her husband adds, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." 

For now, the Savages will keep taking calls and sending any relevant information to the authorities, hoping that the hotline will help alleged victims report their allegations and seek counseling. 


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