R. Kelly has been dodging rumors of dating underaged girls for years, and much of his private life has been speculated upon by way of an explosive investigative piece from BuzzFeed News last month. The outlet spoke with a woman who says she maintained a sexual relationship with the R&B singer, alleging he paid her money to keep their affair under wraps considering she was just a teen at the time.
BuzzFeed News writes:
In 2008, Jerhonda Johnson was a 15-year-old sophomore from Chicago’s south suburbs who cut high school every day to attend R. Kelly’s trial on 14 counts of making child pornography. The R&B superstar had no bigger fan, and Johnson was quoted in national media stories defending her musical idol.
Now a 24-year-old mother of three with the married name Jerhonda Pace, she tells BuzzFeed News that after the trial, when she was 16, she became one of many women traumatized by a sexual relationship with Kelly. Her detailed and well-documented story of accepting cash settlements from the star in return for signing nondisclosure agreements, which has not been previously reported, illustrates how Kelly has been able to silence young women he has allegedly wronged.
Several individuals with firsthand knowledge of the situation have supported Pace’s claims. Additionally, BuzzFeed News reviewed signed legal documents, drafts of settlements between Kelly and Pace, correspondence between Pace and the attorneys involved, a polygraph test performed at the request of her attorney regarding her relationship with Kelly, a probate court document opening an estate for Pace as the result of a civil settlement, and a subsequent payment made by Kelly’s management company to Pace.
While the rumors of Kelly’s propensity to pursue young girls have persisted for years, he has not faced serious consequences thus far. Pace is the fourth person to come forth with such allegations regarding Kelly’s private life although one woman the singer was accused of holding hostage, Joycelyn Savage, says that she’s doing well and isn’t in need of help.
Read BuzzFeed News’ latest piece on R. Kelly by following this link.