After news surfaced that R. Kelly is allegedly running a “sex cult” of women under his control, there has been a media firestorm. Now, evidence against him is growing due to the revealing story of Jerhonda Pace.
In a BuzzFeed News article with reporter Jim DeRogatis, Pace details a sexual relationship with Kelly that occurred back when she was 16 years old. She claims she received cash settlements from the singer in return for signing nondisclosure agreements to not talk. However, now at 24, Pace is telling her story. “I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him,” Pace said. When speaking of other women the R&B singer is allegedly involved with, Pace said, “He’s brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson.”
Pace’s relationship with Kelly started when she was a Chicago high school sophomore in 2008. She was a huge fan of Kelly’s and cut class to sneak into the court room and watch him on trial for child pornography, even though she was under 18 (she lied about her age to the court). Kelly was acquitted of all fourteen charges against him and someone from his camp contacted Pace on social media, inviting her to a party at Kelly’s home. Pace eventually started a relationship with Kelly in which the singer would allegedly film them having sex without Pace’s consent. Pace says Kelly became more controlling as time went on, monitoring how she dressed, when she could eat, when she could shower, and when she could leave the house. If Pace went against Kelly’s rules, she claims he “mentally and physically abused” her.
Pace left the relationship in 2010 after what she says was a violent incident. “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on.” Eventually, she got the help of lawyer Susan E. Loggans who was known for representing under-aged women in lawsuits against Kelly. Loggans was able to negotiate a settlement for Pace in exchange for her signature on a nondisclosure agreement and confirmation that Pace would not file criminal charges against Kelly. Buzzfeed News says they reviewed the signed legal docs between Pace and Kelly’s team and they included “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.”
Despite the non-disclosure agreement and “non-disparagement clause,” Pace says she can’t be silent anymore when other women are at risk of being brainwashed by Kelly. “I know speaking out against Kelly, Kelly could sue me. But I’m really not worried about it anymore,” Pace said. “I feel like this is a healing process for me, because I’ve been holding this in for so many years, and to see that he always gets away with it, it’s just not right. I’m just going forward with my head held high.”
Kelly’s camp has already denied Pace’s claims in a statement on Tuesday: “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.”
We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.