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Parents of Woman Living With R. Kelly Speak Out After Daughter Defends R&B Singer

4 minute read

The parents of Joycelyn Savage, one of two women living with R. Kelly, are speaking out a day after their daughter attacked them on national television and accused them of exploiting her for money.

Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage, parents to the 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage, sat down with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King in an interview Friday. They accused Kelly of brainwashing their daughter, and denied asking for any money from the singer.

Timothy Savage, who has maintained that Kelly is lying about his relationship with Joycelyn, said Kelly “needs to rot in jail.”

“I’m sorry that’s just the way I feel,” he said. “That he needs help, but this man has done so many women wrong and he needs to rot in that jail cell. Period.”

Earlier in the week, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, 21, the other woman who lives with Kelly, appeared on CBS to deny claims that the 52-year-old R&B singer is abusing them or holding them against their will. Both Savage and Clary strongly defended Kelly to King and insisted they are in love with him. King later said that Kelly was present in the room as she spoke to the women and that he coughed loudly as certain topics were brought up during the conversation.

Joycelyn Savage also cast blame on her parents in the CBS interview.

“My parents definitely started this whole situation,” she said. “Basically lying and trying to get money and bringing all these different lies and stuff. You know, my parents, they put out, especially my dad. He’s the whole master of this whole situation.”

Savage’s account is similar to comments Kelly made in his explosive interview with King, which aired Wednesday. The singer, who was charged last month with 10 counts of sexual abuse, angrily denied abusing any women and dismissed allegations that he has held women in captivity.

Kelly claimed to King that Joycelyn Savage’s father brought her to one of his concerts in 2015. He said, “I didn’t go looking for a Joycelyn Savage. I was doing my show. He brought her and asked a friend of mine to put her on the stage with R. Kelly.”

Timothy Savage has denied the story and other accusations from Kelly that he has asked the singer for money. Clary’s family has also denied requesting or receiving money from Kelly.

“I have never met Mr. Kelly,” Timothy Savage told King. “Never in my entire life met Mr. Kelly.”

Savage said he talked with Kelly once on the phone.

“He said, ‘You gonna have to wait to see your daughter. Trust the process,'” Savage said. “How can you tell another father to trust the process, but you rappin’ and ravin’ on TV that you wanna see your kids, but you won’t allow me to see my own daughter? How you think that makes me feel as a father?”

The Savages say they have not seen their daughter in more than two years. After the interview with Kelly aired on Wednesday, Joycelyn Savage called her parents, they said. Jonjelyn Savage told King she calls such phone calls “prison calls.”

“I can tell that someone is listening to the calls. And she calls with a… script. ‘Momma, I told you I’m happy. I told you a million times I’m happy where I am,'” Jonjelyn Savage said.

According to the family, Savage liked to sing when she was growing up and they thought Kelly could help her with her career. Kelly was acquitted on charges of child pornography in 2008. Jonjelyn Savage said the acquittal had made her feel more comfortable about her daughter working with Kelly.

“Not only he’d been acquitted of the charges, but I felt comfortable because at the time, I wish I didn’t, but I separated the artist from the man,” she said.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com