Where is Joycelyn Savage now? She remains committed to R-Kelly

Joycelyn Savage has been one of the most vocal defenders of disgraced R&B artist R-Kelly. Kelly’s long-awaited trial began in August 2021 and is set to proceed full steam in September 2021 as the court listens to testimonies from a myriad of R-Kelly’s victims. Joycelyn Savage is unlikely to be one of them.

Savage and Kelly met at a concert when she was 19. An aspiring artist, Savage saw Kelly as the superstar who would take her career to the next level. Joycelyn’s career aspirations seemingly became less of a priority as she pursued a relationship with Kelly. 

After Kelly’s arrest for various sexually related offenses, Savage became one of the few vocal supporters of the singer. 

Joycelyn remains committed to R. Kelly despite her family’s best efforts to get her home

“We just want him to release her and let her live her life,” Joycelyn’s mother, Jonjelyn Savage, told CBS46 in early August 2021. 

The family first met R-Kelly at an Atlanta Boutique. Shortly after, they attended his concert, where he gave Joycelyn his number. The impressionable 19-year-old soon cut contact with her family and moved in with Kelly. 

“Ultimately she was checked out of school and she’s been with Mr. Kelly ever since,” Savage family attorney Gerald Griggs told CBS46. “The parents were always only interested in developing a music career for her. She was already a talent before the two met.”

Ever since, Joycelyn has never had a private conversation with her parents. After an assault case against her, Jonjelyn tried in vain to have an intimate moment with her daughter. 

Savage was before a Cook County court for assaulting Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Azriel Clary. As she left court, Jonjelyn tried to grab her attention by yelling out, ‘I need to talk to you’ while running up behind her daughter. 

Joycelyn offered no response to her mother’s frantic calls. She pivoted away as her mother tried to grab her before getting into a vehicle and driving away from the court. 

In early August 2021, attorney Gerald Griggs told CBS46 that ‘it’s been a few months’ since the family spoke to Savage. Joycelyn’s parents, Jonjelyn and Timothy Savage, plan to file a lawsuit against Kelly for ‘what they said he did to their daughters in one or his former estates in John’s Creek back in 2017 and still to this day.’

“Allegations of being locked in room and not being able to speak to anyone, not being able to speak to any family or other male figures, being forced to eat and call an individual daddy,” Griggs explained. “The family remains focused and wants justice.”

Joycelyn’s family can draw hope from Azriel Clary, another of Kelly’s girlfriends and former defenders who broke free from his shackles and returned home. In early January 2020, Clary tweeted:

“I didn’t come to Chicago for Robert… only for Joy, whom he purposely separated us because he knew I’d try to make her go home. Please pray for Joy, this is just tough love so she can come to her own realization at her own timing.”

Joycelyn accused Kelly of sexual assault but later retracted the damaging accusations

In what seemed like a dramatic U-turn, Joycelyn (or someone purporting to be Joycelyn) took to Patreon to accuse Kelly of sexual assault.

Joycelyn’s account seemed eerily similar to the stories of other R-Kelly victims. Savage had teased via Instagram that she was ready to tell her story and shared the Patreon link. Though Patreon later suspended the account after failing to verify its owner, many believe that the account’s holder was Savage. 

“He [Kelly] would say it exactly like this ‘Baby girl you are going to be the next Aaliyah,’” Savage wrote. Weeks after the start of their sexual relationship, Kelly demanded that she refer to him as ‘Daddy’ or ‘Master.’ She faced the wrath of Kelly when she absentmindedly called him ‘babe’:

“He grabbed me and chocked me until I blacked out. I had bruises around my neck, and I was told by him to wear a turtle neck or a scarf to cover them up whenever he would take me out in public. I was frightened to tell anyone about this because of what he may do next.”

She later stated that Kelly forced her into having two abortions, though she posted a negative pregnancy test as proof of one of the pregnancies. She explained that the line showing positive had faded over time. 

Joycelyn added that Kelly had isolated her from her friends and family. The family lawyer, Gerald Griggs, emailed The New York Times about the family’s concern for Savage’s safety and commitment to welcoming her back. Griggs wrote:

“Numerous facts detailed by the account confirm the abuse and coercion that the family has alleged for two and a half years. We are attempting to make contact with Joy and the family is ready to welcome her back with love and open arms.”

However, Joycelyn later posted a video stating that she still supports Kelly and ‘will never betray him.’ She said that she still spoke with Kelly and regularly visited in prison. In a statement, Gerald Grigg expressed the family’s disappointment at her about-face:

“We deeply desired to hear her story and in her own voice outside of the presence of Robert Sylvester Kelly or anyone associated with him. For nearly three years, Joycelyn Savage has not been able to speak outside of a controlled environment created by Mr. Kelly. Her video today was not any different.”

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