Mother of Alleged R. Kelly Victim Says Daughter Recognized Singer's "Rage" in Gayle King Interview
Michelle Kramer — who rescued daughter Dominique Gardner from a hotel room in 'Surviving R. Kelly' — and the parents of Joycelyn Savage, who is currently living with Kelly, responded to the embattled singer's explosive TV sit-down on Friday: "He needs to rot in jail."
Alleged victims and the parents of an alleged victim say R. Kelly's behavior during his TV sit-down with CBS This Morning's Gayle King brought back horrible memories.
"When he started screaming, it terrified me," said Asante McGee, who has accused Kelly of mental and sexual abuse from living with the singer for three weeks. "He would cry at the drop of a dime. He's a great performer."
Kitti Jones, who has accused Kelly of abuse from when they dated from 2011 to 2013, says she cried watching the interview, "because I still saw the person that I fell in love with and I couldn't help but wonder, why didn't someone step in and help him earlier?" she said on Friday.
Both women had appeared in the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly to recount their allegations of sexual abuse against the R&B singer. Michelle Kramer, another powerful woman featured in the docuseries, also spoke to King on Friday for the third day of Kelly coverage on CBS.
Kramer is the mother of Dominique Gardner, one of the women who was allegedly being held in Kelly's so-called sex cult against her will since living with him starting in 2013. Surviving R. Kelly followed Kramer as she traveled across the country to fight to rescue her daughter, and she was ultimately successful in bringing Gardner home after sneaking her out of a Los Angeles hotel room and running away together in a van with the Surviving R. Kelly crew.
"She almost threw the remote at the TV," Kramer told King about Gardner only being able to watch parts of the heated and dramatic Kelly sit-down. "Everything he said when he jumped up — she remembered the rage. When she wouldn't do what he asked her to do or told her to do, or he'd get upset about something... and it was a punishment."
Gardner, who is now 29, ran back to Kelly three days after her on-camera rescue captured in Surviving R. Kelly, but ultimately returned to her mother and has been home for several months. Kramer told King that Gardner claimed Kelly would beat and starve her for days and has "spit in her face"; Gardner weighed 125 pounds when she left to be with Kelly and came back weighing 98 pounds.
Kelly, 52, denied that Gardner was held against her will when speaking to King.
CBS This Morning also aired King's interview with the parents of Joycelyn Savage, one of the women the anchor interviewed who is currently living with Kelly. After King's interview with her and Azriel Clary aired on Thursday, Joycelyn Savage called her parents to tell them she was happy.
"I call it 'prison calls' because I can tell that someone is listening to the calls, "Jonjelyn Savage, Joycelyn's mother, told King on Friday about the types of calls they get from their daughter. (The phone call on Thursday sounded similar to a previous video from Joycelyn that aired in Surviving R. Kelly). "She calls with a script: 'Mom, I've told you a million times I'm happy. I'm happy where I am.'"
But Joycelyn Savage appeared to break from script when her younger sister came on the phone. "They can have a connection with the younger kids and when she talked to Jailyn, for a second, that was Joycelyn," said her father, Timothy Savage.
It's been nearly two and a half years since the Savages last saw their daughter in person. She first met Kelly at one of his concerts in 2015 when she was 19. When speaking to King, Kelly accused both sets of parents of "selling" their daughters to him in hopes they could profit off a musical relationship. Joycelyn Savage and Clary echoed Kelly's views on the parents in a sit-down that King said saw the young women, now 23 and 21, respectively, "parroting" Kelly's words.
The Savage parents refuted Kelly's on-air claims when speaking to King. They also said they have never asked for or received money from Kelly. Timothy Savage said he has never met Kelly, and the one time they spoke on the phone he was told by the singer, "You're going to have to wait to see your daughter. Trust the process."
The Savages reiterated their belief that their daughter has been brainwashed on Friday, but vowed to continue to fight for Joycelyn Savage's return. "He needs to rot in jail," said Timothy Savage. "He needs help, but this man has done so many women wrong, he needs to rot in that jail cell. Period."
Since the Kelly interview first aired on Wednesday, Detroit Police have opened an investigation into a sexual assault claim from a woman alleging Kelly had sex with her when she was 13.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty in Chicago to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse and his next court date in that case will be March 22. When sitting down with King on Wednesday, he denied ever having sex with women under age 17.
Kelly remains in jail for failing to pay child support. His lawyer expects he will be released later on Friday.
Watch more of King's interviews that aired on Friday below.