(By: Amanda Wicks for PitchFork.com)
He “unequivocally denies such accusations”
R. Kelly has responded to abuse allegations that surfaced earlier today in a BuzzFeed article written by reporter Jim DeRogatis. The story claimed he’s behind a “cult,” manipulating and controlling the lives of six women. “Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him,” his lawyer Linda Mensch told Pitchfork in a statement. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.” Matt Mittenthal, a spokesperson from BuzzFeed News, responded to Mensch’s statement. “We stand fully behind the story, which was based on nine months of interviews and old-fashioned investigative reporting,” he told Pitchfork. No charges have been filed against Kelly.
DeRogatis’ article featured an initial statement from Mensch, who responded after being sent an outline of abuse allegations. “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life,” she wrote at the time. “He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life. Please respect that.”