Joycelyn Savage, one of R. Kelly’s girlfriends, was arrested on a charge of domestic battery late Wednesday night after allegedly assaulting another woman connected to the imprisoned singer.
In a series of social media posts Wednesday, Azriel Clary — another of Kelly’s girlfriends whose family’s story featured prominently in the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly — documented an alleged physical altercation with Savage at Kelly’s residence at the Trump Tower in Chicago.
More from Rolling Stone
- R. Kelly: Alleged Joycelyn Savage Patreon Account Removed 'Due to Potential Impersonation'
- Joycelyn Savage Contacts Family After Bizarre R. Kelly Interview
- 'Surviving R. Kelly: The Reckoning' Clip: Dominique Gardner Prepares to Tell Her Story
Police were called to the apartment Wednesday afternoon in response to a “battery in progress”; Clary told police she was in the apartment with other people when Savage and a “handler” for Kelly arrived to collect items, including Kelly’s Grammy Awards, from the unit, the Associated Press reports.
A verbal confrontation between the two women — in which Clary claimed Kelly had sex with her when she was underage — first broke out before Savage allegedly became physical with Clary. “She came to me and attacked me and I had to defend myself,” Clary told police; she was later transported to a Chicago hospital.
“It was a battery; it was a fight, but I don’t know what condition she’s in,’’ Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said in a statement. Chicago police confirmed in a statement that they responded to an incident where two women were “engaged in a verbal altercation that became physical when the 24-year-old female offender struck the victim in the face.” At the scene, Clary insisted on pressing charges against Savage.
Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg declined to comment on Savage’s arrest to Rolling Stone Thursday, but previously told TMZ of the alleged assault, “I have a statement written by Azriel that she provided to me, voluntarily, after Robert was already in jail, that said she never had sex with him when she was underaged. As far as this little catfight, it is clear that it was staged to try and boost social media popularity”; in recent weeks, Clary has increased her social media presence, including an Instagram account where she posted the live videos of the Savage confrontation.
In a follow-up video after the altercation, Clary admitted to “lying” for Kelly, including in her and Savage’s interview with Gayle King in March 2019. Clary added that “we never watched the documentary [Surviving R. Kelly].”
Savage is due back in court on February 6th to face one charge of misdemeanor domestic battery causing bodily harm, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Savage’s staunch defense of Kelly in the Clary videos comes in sharp contrast to the now-discredited Patreon account that alleged to be connected to Savage late last year.
Best of Rolling Stone
- Elvis Presley: His 10 Best Country Songs
- Hank Williams' Five Most Haunting Performances
- 'A Charlie Brown Christmas': The Making of a Classic Soundtrack
See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.