Controversial R&B singer R. Kelly is making headlines again, sadly for a reason that's unlikely to surprise his many critics.
A shocking new report from Buzzfeed News quotes several sets of parents who claim that their daughters are being held against their will by Kelly.
The parents say that their daughters are captives in a sex-obsessed "cult" led by the 50-year-old.
Three former members of Kelly's inner circle also spoke with the outlet and corroborated the parents' version of events.
“[Kelly] is a master at mind control ... He is a puppet master,” said one.
The escapees claim that Kelly is currently holding several young women at inconspicuous rental properties in the Chicago and Atanta suburbs
The detailed allegations of life as one of Kelly's sex slaves are profoundly disturbing.
The women revealed that Kelly "dictates what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records."
The former members of Kelly's "entourage" of young women revealed that the singer goes to extreme lengths to ensure subservience:
According to the their claims, Kelly allegedly replaces the women's cell phones with ones that can only be used communicate with him.
He requires the women - some of whom are still in their teens - to call him “daddy” and ask permission to leave their residence.
He punishes them harshly when they break his “rules” such as engaging in any activity that he considers to be flirtatious with other men.
The exposè contains quotes from one set of parents who have been working for two years to free their daughter, who was just 19 when she fell under Kelly's influence.
“It was as if she was brainwashed," the anonymous mother said of the last time she saw her daughter.
"[She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” she added. “I hugged her and hugged her. But she just kept saying she’s in love and [Kelly] is the one who cares for her. I don’t know what to do. I hope that if I get her back, I can get her treatment for victims of cults."
Cheryl Mack, who worked for 18 months as Kelly's personal assistant and still maintains contact with members of his inner circle, says that the parents' worst fears are rooted in a nauseating reality:
“This is R. Kelly, I’m going to live a lavish lifestyle,” said Mack. “No. You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom. … [Kelly] is a master at mind control."
Kelly has been accused of sexual assault on several occasions, but has never been convicted.
Media outlets claimed last year that Kelly was dating a 19-year-old, but it now looks as though she was just one of several women who was being victimized by the singer.
We'll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.