Posted: 10:40 am Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
R. Kelly’s former girlfriend Kitti Jones is telling her side of the abuse she alledgedly endured from him.
“I got there before he did because he of course doesn’t like to fly, so he’s taking the bus,” Jones says. She had sent Kelly “racy photos” while he was en route to the hotel and was excited to reunite face-to-face. As she waited in the hotel room for Kelly to arrive, she heard a knock at the door. “He brushed past me,” Jones says. “I’m thinking we’re going to hug or peck each other. But he plopped down on the couch and pulled out his penis and started pleasuring himself.”
Jones was stunned. Should she leave? Say something? Proceed? If this were a “regular guy working at CVS,” says Jones, she would’ve been furious. But the combination of physical attraction and the two months of courteous courtship just made Jones put the incident “in the back of my head.”
“I was attracted to him and was just like, ‘Well, OK. Fine,’” she says. “Maybe he just has weird ways of getting off.” The two had oral sex that weekend, with Kelly, according to Jones, saying things like, “I gotta teach you how to be with me” and “I gotta train you.” “He was like a drill sergeant even when he was pleasuring me,” Jones says. “He was telling me how to bend my back or move my leg here. I’m like, ‘Why is he directing it like this?’ It was very uncomfortable.”
“But he tried to make me feel special about [the trip],” Jones adds. “Like, ‘If I didn’t really like you, I wouldn’t have done that, and I wouldn’t even be wasting my time flying you out, and I respect you.’” Jones and Kelly continued their romance, with Kelly, according to Jones, sending her flowers and gifts at work. “I had been divorced a couple of years at that point and [I was] meeting some bad guys,” Jones says. But Kelly made her feel better. “He’s not trying to hurry up and have sex. It was an escape for me.” She was single, lonely and her son was living in Europe with her ex-husband. Kelly offered the perfect respite.
It was in September 2011, during Jones’ first trip to Chicago to visit Kelly at his Trump Tower apartment, that she began noticing odd incidents. After Jones texted Kelly that the driver arrived at the airport on time, Jones alleges Kelly told her not to speak to him and inform the singer if the driver talked to her. It was part of a pattern, Jones later realized, of male figures in Kelly’s orbit avoiding interacting with any woman around the singer. Jones recalls stumbling on a stair that night and watching two male employees nearby not flinch. “They knew not to talk to me or help or anything,” she says.
Despite the red flags, Jones was starting to fall for Kelly. She says as the singer began to confide in her more about past traumatic events like the deaths of his mother and childhood girlfriend, she began feeling protective of him. If people knew who he really was, thought Jones, they’d be more sympathetic. “Rob kinda makes you feel like you have to defend him,” she says. “It’s like you and him against the world. If someone brought him up [in conversation], immediately a wall went up.”
In November 2011, Jones quit her DJ job, sold her car and moved into the singer’s Chicago apartment. “She asked me what I thought about her quitting her job and moving,” says Veda Loca, a DJ for The Beat who worked with Jones at the time. “I was like, ‘You only live once.’ I mean, fuck, it’s R. Kelly.”
It get’s worse …
Kelly housed Jones alongside two of his other girlfriends, allegedly demanding that each of them contact Kelly or one of his employees before leaving their room. Despite all three girlfriends living in one location, Jones says the singer at first tried to ensure none of them knew the others were living there. There were no locks on the doors, but cameras monitored every move and Kelly would punish the women for attempting to leave for any reason without permission. (The source who knew Kelly independently confirmed Kelly’s rules with his girlfriends to Rolling Stone.) Kelly would frequently take away Jones’ phone as punishment – sometimes as long as two months – cutting off her ability to request food or perform basic functions, according to Jones and the other source who knew him.
Two months into living at the studio, Jones says, Kelly began using starvation on her as punishment for not following his orders. Jones says the longest she went without food was two and a half days, though single days without a meal were not uncommon. “Will u send a pizza here to studio I’m alone til 4am no card no money just dropped off with my blanket and the guys aren’t replying,” Jones texted childhood friend LaToya Howard on May 23rd, 2013, at 12:35 a.m. “I feel dizzy.” (Loca, who worked with Jones at The Beat, tells Rolling Stone that she noticed Jones’ drastic weight loss after Jones broke up with Kelly and said Jones told her she had sometimes not been allowed to eat.)
Per Kelly’s rules, say multiple sources, any sharing of personal info – your hobbies, where you worked, your favorite food – with another woman was not allowed. (The girlfriends all had nicknames, with Jones claiming that none of them knew the others’ real names upon meeting.) “We are suppose[d] to tell Rob [if] someone breaks a rule [or tries] to be negative with each other,” Jones texted Howard on March 16th, 2013.
“If you disclose your relationship with him [to another woman] – how long you’ve known him or whatever – you can get beat,” Jones claims. “He doesn’t want in any way for one girl to feel more like, ‘Oh, we’re closer than you guys.’ Even though we knew deep down we’re all living there, we didn’t address it.”
Any woman living in the studio, she says, was obligated to look down when walking down the hallway or toward the bathroom to avoid looking at other men. “When I was on tour, it was just clear [that] people knew not to be in my path,” Jones says. “I don’t know what he would think would happen if you’re looking at somebody. I think he’s looking at it like that’s letting a guy know it’s OK to speak to you.”
“She started sending me text messages like, if there were guys around, she could not look at any of [them],” Howard says. “She had to always have her head down or if they were in a conference room and she was sitting next to Rob, he would have her turn facing him and she had to keep her head down the whole time. If a male would say something funny, she couldn’t laugh.”