Journalist who published R. Kelly ‘cult’ allegations says FBI interviewing parents of women

CHICAGO -- The FBI is extensively interviewing the parents of the women reportedly being held hostage by R. Kelly, journalist Jim DeRogatis tells WGN.

Earlier this week, DeRogatis published explosive claims in Buzzfeed that the R&B singer is running what parents describe as an "abusive cult," holding six women in properties rented by Kelly in Atlanta and Chicago's Near West Side against their will.

One of the women, Joycelyn Savage, is lashing out against her family, insisting she is "happy."

"You're embarrassing me and the entire family. I'm happy where I'm at and the people that I'm around," Joycelyn Savage says in a video obtained by TMZ.

DeRogatis says that even though Savage is denying being held against her will, she cannot speak for any of the other women staying at Kelly's properties, including an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old. In fact, DeRogatis says one of Savage's parents told him, "my daughter will come out in denial of this."

DeRogatis says Savage might claim she's fine, but avoids talking about where she's located, and whether or not she's allowed to come and go as she pleases.

Although some may argue these women are consenting adults, DeRogatis calls it "alleged abuse," which requires further investigation.

DeRogatis also spoke with two women who said they had sexual relations with Kelly: "They described something that is not typical groupie culture, that is more akin to a 'cult' is the word they used, 'brainwashing' is the word they used, 'held against their will' are words they used, and say that these women are physically and mentally abused if they break any of those rules."

When asked by WGN's Dean Richards if this is R. Kelly's "Cosby Moment," DeRogatis said: "I don't want to speculate...all I know is all the sources we've talked to say there are young women being hurt today."

R. Kelly's record label had no comment on the matter.