Although they remain desperate to see their daughter for the first time in more than two years, JonJelyn and Tim Savage are frozen in Atlanta even after R. Kelly's arrest.
The Savages contend their daughter, Joycelyn, is being held as a part of an alleged sex cult by Kelly. They hoped to reconnect with her as soon as possible after Robert Sylvester Kelly was arrested on 10 counts of sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois. Instead, their attorney Gerald Griggs says "very serious death threats" are keeping them grounded in Georgia for now.
A manager of Kelly, Don Russell, and former manager Henry James Mason, are under investigation for threatening the Savages ahead of the Lifetime docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly." The couple believe Kelly has brainwashed their daughter, who met him at 19 in 2015, and spoke about that in the program. A Henry County police report says an officer overheard Mason's telephone threat last year. Mason surrendered and bonded out on the charge last month in Henry County.
Griggs says Russell was seen with Kelly as the singer, 52, surrendered to police. He tells WSB that they had always planned to have the assistance of law enforcement in traveling to Chicago. The actions of Joycelyn Savage and another alleged sex cult member, Azriel Clary, at Kelly's Saturday bond hearing have delayed those plans.
"Specifically, Joycelyn Savage was asked by numerous reporters if she'd had contact with her parents, when she planned on reconciling and talking to them," said Griggs. "She did not respond. She just kept looking straight forward, and kept being whisked off by Mr. Kelly's entourage."
That concerned her parents even more, because they haven't spoken to her since December 2016. Clary's reaction was similar, yet perhaps even more chilling because her parents were in the courtroom, too, says Griggs.
"They were seated on the same row, and they tried to make direct contact with her. She kept her face and eyes forward. .She did not respond. She did not even look at her parents," he says, before she was also briskly taken away by Kelly's staff. He likens their actions to those of Patty Hearst, a college student kidnapped by domestic terrorists in 1974 who then went on to commit crimes with her captors.
"It fits into the mental manipulation and the Stockholm Syndrome that we believe they are suffering from," says Griggs, who also believes that Fulton County prosecutors can bring a case against Kelly for actions targeting both Savage and Clary at Kelly's former home in Johns Creek.
The threats and the women's actions in court caused authorities to urge the Savages to reschedule. Now is the time, contends Griggs, for Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg to back up the claim that the women are not being controlled or harmed.
"If your client has nothing to hide, make them available," he says. "We'll meet with Mr. Greenberg, and members of Cook County's [state's] attorney's office, and Joycelyn Savage. The ball's in his court. His client's the one that's facing the possibility of never seeing the light of day."