DeKalb County

Alleged R. Kelly victim's family says singer lied during explosive new interview

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A local family who says their daughter is being held against her will by R. Kelly is responding, following the singer's declaration of innocence for the first time since leaving jail.

R. Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was charged in February with sexually abusing four females dating back to 1998, including three underage girls.

Attorney Gerald Griggs represents the family of Joycelyn Savage.

The Savages said their daughter has been “brainwashed” while living with Kelly.

“If there are no problems and she is in a consensual loving relationship with Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly, she could easily speak to her two younger sisters, her grandmother, her aunts, her uncles, her immediate family,” Griggs said.

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach spoke with Joycelyn's mom, dad and two younger sisters.

They have not seen her in more than two years and said if she were in a consensual, loving relationship she would still be able to call or communicate with the family.

In the CBS interview, R. Kelly said the charges of sexual abuse against him are all lies.

He also specifically said Savage, at age 19, was handed over to him by her parents, who sold her off to the R&B star.

On Wednesday, they said they never demanded, took or received any money from R. Kelly and her father, Timothy Savage, has never even met him.


Gehlbach asked him his personal reaction while watching Kelly say on national television that he sold his own daughter.

“It hurts me so much to hear that being said and I’m just speechless that we would sell our kids. That’s unheard of,” Timothy Savage said.

After the news conference, someone from R. Kelly’s camp called and let Joycelyn get on the phone and talk to her parents.

She had one line she repeated in the call that lasted just under three minutes.

“I have told you guys a million, million times that I am OK where I am and I’m happy,” she said in a video of the call.

During the call, Joycelyn’s 11-year-old sister, Jori, tried to break through.

“Hey Joycelyn, it’s Jori,” the young girl said to her older sister on the call.

What followed was a seven-second pause from Joycelyn. Griggs said the silence speaks volumes.

“The script was broken and you could tell she was basically being told what to say," Griggs said.

“Can you please come home?” Jori asked Joycelyn on the call.

The conversation ultimately ended with an expression of love on both ends after Joycelyn said she had to go.

“It was of great comfort to hear her response to her younger sister. It shows that the real Joycelyn is in there somewhere,” Griggs said.

Although Joycelyn said she's OK, her family is convinced she's not.

“I know for a fact that my sister is not OK. I know for a fact that R. Kelly is mentally destroying her and I just want her home,” sister Jailyn said.

There's an interview with Joycelyn and the other woman still living with Kelly set to air on Friday morning.