Another woman from R. Kelly’s inner circle has come forward, claiming she and the singer had sex when she was just 15. She alleges that after their sexual contact, she pursued a cash settlement and Kelly asked her to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to keep their relationship a secret.
In a new BuzzFeed story by Jim DeRogatis, who first broke the story about R. Kelly allegedly holding a group of women against their will in June, the now 24-year-old Jerhonda Pace details how she met R. Kelly when she was just 15. At the time, Pace was an outspoken supporter of Kelly during his 2008 child pornography trial, speaking frequently to news outlets in defense of the singer.
After Kelly was acquitted, she said an associate of his friended Pace on Myspace in May, 2009, and invited her to a party of his in Olympia Fields, Illinois. From there she was invited back again and alleges the two had oral sex. According to BuzzFeed, Kelly then asked Pace to write and sign letters that claimed, falsely, that she had stolen jewelry from them and that she was trying to set Kelly up in order to blackmail him.
Pace continued to visit Kelly and she says the two repeatedly had sex while she was a minor. She also says she gave Kelly her state ID and he knew how old she was. Pace began to spend weekends at his home and says she had to behave in a way that corroborates other reports from women who’ve lived with Kelly: she had to surrender her cellphone, wear baggy clothes, and ask permission to leave the house or even shower. She alleges that most sexual encounters with Kelly were filmed without her permission, and with Pace having to call the singer “daddy.”
Buzzfeed reports that in July 2009, two squad cars pulled up to R. Kelly’s Olympia Fields home where Pace and a 17-year-old friend were hanging out, with police in search of that friend at her mother’s request. Kelly’s spokesperson denies that police came to the property, but the police chief told a local paper that they found there to be no crime on the property.
According to BuzzFeed, a newspaper noted a few days later that Kelly is “the largest taxpayer in the village of 4,700" and that his property taxes counted for one-tenth of the police department’s budget that year. This month the John Creek Police Department also told reporters that there was not sufficient enough evidence to open a case on R. Kelly, even after the initial story broke about him allegedly holding and abusing women in Georgia.
Pace says she eventually left Kelly in 2010 after he caught her texting a friend and she was allegedly slapped, choked, and spat on. The next day Pace contacted Chicago attorney Susan E. Loggans who had reportedly settled “numerous” cash settlements with women who have had sex with R. Kelly. Pace, in just a few weeks, was awarded a large settlement and she and her mother set up a trust in her name. After payments stopped coming in, Pace says she had to set up a new settlement with Kelly, this time with a “non-disparagement clause”—which means that Pace speaking out now is violating the terms of their agreement.
“I know speaking out against Kelly, Kelly could sue me. But I’m really not worried about it anymore,” Pace says.
In the weeks since new reports surfaced about R. Kelly reportedly abusing young women he has canceled tour dates and denied all accusations and spoken out about pursuing his accusers. Additonally, officials in Fulton County unsuccessfully petitioned Live Nation to cancel his show coming to the area. Sony, R. Kelly’s label, has not commented on the reports. Early Tuesday morning, R. Kelly’s representatives denied the allegations in a statement to Buzzfeed. “The allegations against Mr. Kelly are false, and are being made by individuals known to be dishonest,” they said. “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.”