In a BBC3 documentary that aired Tuesday in the UK, Kitti Jones alleges that R. Kelly once trained a 14-year-old girl to be his "sex slave." Jones, an ex-girlfriend of Kelly's, previously spoke to Rolling Stone about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Kelly during their three-year relationship. In the documentary, titled R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes, Jones describes a young girl Kelly groomed to become a "pet," The Guardian reports.
"I was introduced to one of the girls, that he told me he ‘trained’ since she was 14, those were his words. I saw that she was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I’d say and her mannerisms were like mine," Jones says in the documentary, which is only available to watch in the UK. "That’s when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets. He calls them his pets."
Speaking to Rolling Stone in December, Jones described a similar encounter, but she didn't give the age of the girl. The woman, described as "another one of R. Kelly's girlfriends," was also naked. Jones said Kelly referred to her as a "pet."
Back in December, Kelly responded to Jones' claims with a statement provided to Rolling Stone. The statement reads, "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."
Refinery29 has reached out to representation for Kelly for additional comment.
The BBC3 documentary, which is unavailable for viewers in the US, chronicles the allegations against Kelly that surfaced last summer in a piece published on Buzzfeed. Music journalist Jim DeRogatis spoke to Cheryl Mack, Asante McGee, and Jones for a bombshell exposé that, bewilderingly, didn't stick to Kelly, who denies all allegations. (In response to the allegations, a lawyer for Kelly told Buzzfeed, "I suppose that is the price of fame.") DeRogatis — the same journalist who wrote for Buzzfeed — mused in the New Yorker in December that Kelly was still thriving despite the accusations because his targets are young women of color.
"Even seventeen years of reporting hasn’t been enough to turn as bright a spotlight on Kelly as the one exposing many others, because no one, it seems, matters less in our society than young black women," DeRogatis wrote.
At the time, the reported ages of the women involved in Kelly's "cult" were over the age of consent. DeRogatis wrote in the New Yorker that the youngest member of the cult, to his knowledge, was 18. The allegation made in BBC3's documentary is important because it describes something directly illegal. A 14-year-old girl is below the age of consent. Maybe this — a teenager allegedly trained to be a submissive sexual object — is the breaking point.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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