R. Kelly’s girlfriend says Patreon account denouncing him was fake
Joycelyn Savage, a girlfriend of R. Kelly, says that the online accounts in her name that attacked the singer are fake.
“I am truly tired of all the lies that they are saying about the man we love so much and our best friend R. Kelly,” says Savage, while reading from her phone, in a video on TMZ. “It has been said that I left him and he has abused me and all kinds of nonsense. I have said before none of it is true.”
CNN does not know when the video was recorded or how TMZ obtained it. Joycelyn Savage could not be reached for comment.
Two weeks ago, an Instagram account and crowdfunding page on Patreon in Savage’s name had accused Kelly of being controlling and manipulative. At the time, Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, Savage of having posted the claims after “the money ran out.”
But Savage disavowed those comments and that account in her video posted by TMZ. She says that she talks daily to Kelly, who is being held in jail ahead of his trial on federal charges, and sees him every two weeks.
“We have a bond that is so special that no one can ever can break. This is truly coming from my heart. I would never, in a million years, I would never in a million years, hurt him like this,” she says in the TMZ video, no longer reading from her phone. “I would never do that. So it’s just really, really, really sad that somebody would pretend to be me.”
Kelly faces a range of criminal charges in Illinois and New York. He pleaded not guilty in August in a federal courtroom in New York to charges including kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.
Kelly also pleaded not guilty in February to Illinois state charges of 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, including three who prosecutors say were underage girls.
Kelly has vehemently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct in the past.
Still, Savage has continually defended him and their relationship, including in an interview with CBS’s Gayle King in March of this year.
Savage’s parents have spoken out about their concerns for their daughter’s safety with Kelly. Gerald A. Griggs, an attorney for the family, said in a statement they were “saddened and disappointed to learn that Joycelyn Savage has said that she was not the person operating the Patreon account.”
“For nearly three years, Joycelyn Savage has not been able to speak outside of a controlled environment created by Mr. Kelly,” the statement said. “Her video today was not any different. Although we can now verify that it wasn’t her account, the allegations still remain.”
It is unclear on what basis Savage’s family can verify the Patreon account did not belong to Joycelyn.
Kelly’s attorney praises new video
Greenberg praised the video and said they are “happy that Joycelyn has confirmed the account was false, and spoken the truth about Robert.”
“It is, frankly, terrifying how easy it is to fool people (through) a fake account, and how people rush to believe fabrications. Everyone owes Joycelyn and Robert an apology. I hope that people will now just wait for the real facts and cease their rush to judgment. The genuine truth is yet to be heard,” he said.
The issue began two weeks ago when an Instagram account in Savage’s name posted a link to a page on Patreon, the crowdfunding platform, also in Savage’s name.
A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in an email last week that the company is “unable to confirm if this (Instagram account) is Joycelyn’s account, but we did see evidence that the account was hacked some time ago.” The spokesperson said the company has restricted the access to the account and “the rightful owner will be able to regain access if they attempt to log in.”
The Instagram account in question posted what appears to be sponsored ads for two online retailers, BodyFab and Prestige Trendss, on November 26. Neither brand immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment Thursday to confirm if the Instagram page belongs to Savage.
In a correspondence this week, Facebook, the social media platform did not say when Savage’s Instagram account was hacked or if the rightful owner has regained access since last week. Spokeswoman Stephanie Otway said, “for privacy reasons, we can’t share either of t hose details.”
Patreon said last week that it closed the page “after multiple unsuccessful attempts to verify the identity of the account holder.” Patrons who signed up for the membership page were given refunds “and the creator did not receive any funds,” Patreon said.
CNN’s Natalie Johnson and Darran Simon contributed to this report.