Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, the parents of Joycelyn Savage, a young woman who is allegedly being held captive by R. Kelly, spoke about being a part of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly with Frank Ski and Monie Love on Tuesday at Atlanta’s V-103 radio station.
During the series, the parents disclosed being responsible for introducing their then-19-year-old daughter to the singer in 2016. Several viewers criticized the Savages because they allowed Joycelyn to work with Kelly years after reports about his marriage to 15-year-old Aaliyah and child pornography charges centered around the infamous sex tape.
Ski asked the family if those issues didn’t concern the mom and dad when their teen daughter began working with the crooner.
“I knew about Aaliyah,” Jonjelyn said. “I knew he wrote songs about a lot of sexual things, but this was a business relationship . . . . I met [him] through his stage manager. Like I said, I didn’t know all of the dark sides of him at the time.”
Joycelyn’s mom continued, “We only met twice, and she was with me. [At] one of the meetings, a major artist– Fantasia – was with him in the studio then, when we were invited. It wasn’t any different. . . he worked with Whitney Houston [and] Michael Jackson, everybody. I saw it as a business opportunity.”
“You can blame R. Kelly, but you also have to blame his team.” —Tim Savage
The Savages made it clear that they were unaware that Joycelyn left college to be with Kelly allegedly.
Later in the interview, they also disclosed that authorities, namely the FBI, contacted them before their participation in the docuseries.
“They have contacted me. They have been to my home and kept my phone for a weekend,” Jonjelyn revealed.
Her husband added, “The FBI has been to our home. Two visited our home. They kept her phone. We had to write up statements [and] all that.”
Tim and Jonjelyn held a press conference in 2017 in which they claimed that Kelly was brainwashing Joycelyn and holding her against her will. They have since done several interviews underscoring these allegations.
Now with more witnesses having having come forward and the accounts disclosed through Surviving R. Kelly, the family is hoping the R&B star will fall from grace and their now-23-year-old daughter will return home.
Watch the 45-minute interview below.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.