<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - ]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usFri, 21 Jul 2017 00:01:13 -0700Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:01:13 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['Timeless' Cast Celebrates Fans, Second Season at Comic-Con]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:15:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/709A5830.JPG

The cast and writers behind the revived NBC time-traveling drama "Timeless" opened their panel at San Diego Comic-Con International by thanking the fans over and over for helping bring back a show they once thought was gone for good. 

"Here's the truth," said Executive Producer Eric Kripke. "You guys saved the show."

Thursday's Comic-Con panel came just two months after NBC axed the show and then, shockingly, brought it back to life a few days later. "Timeless" will return in 2018 for a 10-episode second season. 

The time-traveling drama follows Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) as they try to catch a mysterious criminal who steals a top-secret, state-of-the-art time machine to change history.  

Kripke and co-executive producer Shawn Ryan said they had just begun to make peace with the fact that the show had been canceled when they got a call from NBC executives. 

“I got a call from NBC and they said we made a mistake and we’re picking up the show,” Kripke said.

Spencer said she was asleep the morning the show was renewed when she started getting loads of texts and emails. 

"I was asleep and woke up to hundreds of emails," Spencer recalled at the Comic-Con panel, laughing about how unbelievable it seemed to her at the time. She thought it was a joke at the time, she said. 

The cast and executive producers of the show said they owed it all to the fans of the show, those sitting in the audience at the Comic-Con panel and those not in the room. 

"The point of the panel is to celebrate you for saving the show so I think you deserve a round of applause," Kripke said.

Fans will have to wait months to get a glimpse of season two, but Kripke and Ryan teased some of what fans can expect in the second season, including digging deeper into each character.

Lucy's mother, the center of the first season's shocking finale, will likely take center stage in the second season as "one of the major big bads in season two," Kripke said. 

Now that Rittenhouse has the time machine in their possession, fans can expect a unique team to fight a common enemy. 

The team hopes to further explore the characters as they battle the common enemy, including the newfound Lucy and Wyatt relationship. 

The show, which shot in Vancouver for the first season, will shoot its second season in Los Angeles. The change will allow the writers to tell stories they would otherwise have not been able to tell, Ryan said. 

"We definitely have some ideas, nothing sort of set in stone," Ryan said. 

The second season may also draw inspiration and ideas from the current political climate, Kripke said. The show's overall message of inclusion and diversity is something Kripke is proud of, he said, and he hopes to continue on that path.

"The thing that we really found this year, that we really love about the show is we really are very proud that we were able to tell these very positive, really inclusive stories about history," Kripke said. "Stories about women and stories about minorities and stories about gay people — that everyone contributes to the history of this country."

Kripke backed away from political statements as the crowd broke out in applause, saying that he wanted the show to have a strong message of inclusion in the current political climate.

"History is for everybody, and America is for everybody," he said.

The executive producers closed out the panel by emphasizing that the work in spreading the word is not done. 

"We're going to be airing in 2018, and that's a lot of time off the air," Kripke said. "Bring new people to the show. The more you can bring people into the time team and we can enlist you all as time team members, the better we'll be."

The cast agreed.

"Clearly," Spencer said. "We can't do it without you. We need you."

"Timeless" will return to NBC in 2018. 

Photo Credit: Samantha Tatro
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<![CDATA[Class Is in Session: What's the Best High School Movie Ever?]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:55:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/highschoolmovies.jpg

The anxiety and perils of the high school experience have provided fertile ground for movie-makers over the years. Whether it's comedic, such as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," or the drama of a film like "Dead Poet's Society," it's not hard to find a film that speaks to you directly.

But which film should be considered first in its class? You decide in our best of the high school films bracket. We're down to two iconic films as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" squares off "The Breakfast Club." One is a comedic farce about a kid's outrageous attempt to skip a day of school, the other a examination of five high school students from different walks of life enduring a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal.

Which is the top high school-themed film ever? Make your selection below. Voting ends Friday July 28.

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<![CDATA[The Stars Descend on San Diego for Comic-Con]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:55:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-819890950.jpg These celebs have been spotted at San Diego Comic Con.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:13:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington Dies at 41]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:38:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chesterbennington.jpg

The singer of the rock band Linkin Park has died at 41.

<![CDATA[Best Hats at Del Mar Opening Day 2017 in California]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:50:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Del-Mar-Hats-2017-Winner.jpg For the past 23 years, Del Mar's Opening Day has been all about the hats. Each year, the venue hosts the famous Hat Contest, inviting participants to showcase their fanciest, most creative toppers. Here's a look at the hats that caught our eye this year at the seaside track in San Diego's North County.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Why We Continue to Be Obsessed With O.J. Simpson]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:19:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/simpsongloves.jpg

Yes, you know O.J. Simpson.

How could you not? He was one of the world’s most recognizable faces, even before last year’s Oscar-winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the Emmy-winning FX drama “The People v. O.J. Simpson” brought his story — and the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman — back into the heart of American culture.

Simpson was granted parole Thursday on charges stemming from the 2008 armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. It's a fair question to ask why, 23 years later, he continues to be a point of obsession for so many, considering the killings for which he was controversially acquitted occurred decades before there was an iPhone, Twitter or even the concept of social media.

The fallen football star’s case was viewed largely through the prism of race in 1994, but how you perceive Simpson today may differ greatly simply depending on when you were born.

If you were born in the age of Twitter, you know about 70-year-old Simpson as he stands incarcerated today. You're familiar with the refrain, "If it doesn't fit you must acquit," because you've seen Courtney B. Vance give an Emmy-winning performance as Johnnie Cochran on the FX broadcast and you've seen the grainy Bronco chase video on YouTube.

But if you're older, perhaps you saw that Bronco chase live as networks broke into the middle of the NBA playoffs with live coverage. Going back further, perhaps you're more familiar with "Naked Gun" O.J. Simpson. A little older and you may remember pitchman O.J. running through the airports in iconic Hertz commercials, briefcase in hand, trying to catch that plane. Older still? Maybe you recall the star Buffalo Bills running back or even watched him during his Heisman-winning days at the University of Southern California.

As Simpson was finally granted parole it may be difficult to imagine the man who once had Madison Avenue in the palm of his hand. It's difficult to perceive the fledgling actor with limited range who tackled small roles in films like "The Towering Inferno" and "Capricorn One," before finding his comedic niche in farce films like the "Naked Gun" series.

Simpson's acting career largely sprang from a Hall of Fame NFL career. Joining the Buffalo Bills in 1969 after winning the Heisman as the nation's best collegiate player the year before, Simpson became the first player in the NFL to rush for 2,000 yards in 1973 and, 44 years later, he remains one of only four players to ever do so. He is still just outside the top 20 in career NFL rushing yards and was first ballot Hall of Famer.

If America continues to have an unhealthy obsession with "The Juice," while other infamous figures like Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy have faded with time, perhaps it's because there were so many different incarnations of Simpson before the crimes for which he became infamous. Whether it was actor O.J. or sports star O.J., or celebrity O.J., Simpson had woven himself into the fabric of America for decades before Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. Perhaps that's why we simply can't get enough of his story.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Vince Bucci]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning 'Thrones' Filming Locations Across the World]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:31:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-507008635.jpg The fantasy land of Westeros may seem like a mystical far away place, but many scenes in the popular 'Game of Thrones' series are filmed on-location in countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain and the United States. Try to recognize where these breath-taking sceneries from earth fit into the world of Westeros.

Photo Credit: Mnieteq/Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Not Easy Being (Formerly) Green: The Kermit Saga Continues]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:48:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-2282250.jpg

Kermit the Frog famously came to grips with the challenges of being green. But he apparently couldn't shake the blues.

That's the bleak picture Cheryl Henson painted this week when she reportedly charged, via Facebook, that fired frog puppeteer Steve Whitmire portrayed her father's classic creation as a "bitter, angry, depressed victim."

The blunt assessment marked the latest tough words to fly amid news that Disney sacked Whitmire with the blessing of the late Jim Henson's family. The feud, which rips away the felt facade of harmony, is enough to make fans ask a surprisingly unsettling question: Was the frog Whitmire voiced since Henson's sudden death 27 years ago a fraud?

One thing is for certain: Kermit always has been a Muppet of many moods – most of them variations of upbeat. We’ve seen him as everything from the buoyant reporter of "Sesame Street" to the endlessly enthusiastic, if often exasperated producer of "The Muppet Show" to the bayou banjoist who sang longingly of forging a rainbow connection in "The Muppet Movie."

Those iconic portrayals reflected the multifaceted talents of Henson, who combined childlike wonder and energy with counterculture-fueled irreverence to build an enduring fantasy empire that captured the imaginations of children and adults across generations.

Let's give Whitmire his due: The show went on when many thought it would end after Henson's death. Sure, the franchise endured some failures, among them “Muppets from Space” and the TV reboot “Muppets Tonight.” But the 2011 film "The Muppets" marked an uplifting return to form, with Kermit once again a big star.

The momentum faltered last year with ABC’s adult-geared mockumentary (also called “The Muppets”) that portrayed Kermit as a cynical Hollywood producer running his now his ex-girlfriend Miss Piggy's talk show, a production staffed by a pathetic Fozzie Bear and an array of Muppet misfits. The show took lovable, optimistic eccentrics and turned them into losers unable to find the "fun" in "dysfunction."

Was it the concept or Whitmire's morose Kermit that sunk the series? Was Whitmire a difficult employee, as Disney argues, or a victim, as he contends?

Whatever the truth, it's more than fans of any age — especially those of us old enough to barely remember the debut of "Sesame Street" — want to think about.

Now it's up to replacement puppeteer Matt Vogel to make it easy to root for Team Green again. He can start by giving us a new Kermit like the old Kermit: a sensitive, fun-loving force of life who put on a manic show behind the show – and left the dirty laundry in the dressing room.

Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Scott Gries/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[2017 San Diego Comic-Con: Friday Highlights ]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:08:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/thronesthronesthrones.jpg ]]> <![CDATA['Late Night': Queen Latifah Doesn't Like to Die in Movies]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:34:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-20-at-5.52.57-AM.jpg

Seth Meyers sits down with Queen Latifah, who explains why she started including death clauses in her film contracts.

<![CDATA['Late Night': Closer Look at the Failed GOP Health Plan]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 03:07:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-20-at-6.08.24-AM.jpg

Seth Meyers takes a look at how President Donald Trump and the GOP are doing after their latest attempt to replace "Obamacare" failed.

<![CDATA['Tonight': Harry Styles Takes Over Fallon's Desk]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 02:46:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-20-at-5.45.31-AM.jpg

Jimmy Fallon has Harry Styles make a special wish, before the singer takes over the host's desk.

<![CDATA['Tonight': White Walker and Other Good, Bad, Great Names]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 02:41:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Jimmy-Fallon-Desk.jpg

Jimmy Fallon shows that what makes a good name for one thing might make a bad name for something else.

<![CDATA[Smith Apologizes for Sharing 'Gay Kiss' Story About Affleck]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:06:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/woodsmith.jpg

Director Kevin Smith is apologizing after he was slammed for sharing a story about Ben Affleck's "challenge" of kissing another man in the 1997 film "Chasing Amy" at an LGBT film festival last week.

In the anecdote told at the Los Angeles' Outfits LGBT Film Festival, Smith shared that Affleck said kissing another man is "the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face," and that the kiss made him a "serious actor."

Affleck received backlash for the alleged story, including a tweet from "Westworld" actress and Emmy nominee Evan Rachel Wood slamming the actor.

"Try getting raped in a scene. Also, grow up Ben," Wood wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

The criticism of Affleck, given that some people thought the controversial remark was made recently, led Smith to apologize in a Facebook Live video.

Warning: This video contains graphic language.

"Of course, Affleck doesn't feel that way today and who knows if he even felt that way then? But he could've, he was in his 20s. We all say goofy s--- in our f---ing 20s," Smith said. "But it wasn't something he went out into the world and talked about. It was something he said to me."

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<![CDATA[San Diego Comic-Con 2017: Thursday Highlights]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 11:16:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/inhuman123454321.jpg Here are a few of the highlights from Day 1 of the San D

Photo Credit: Marvel]]>
<![CDATA[In-N-Out Worker Dishes Out Answers to Customers' Questions]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 06:35:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/InNOutQandA_2.jpg In-N-Out Burger, arguably the most popular burger chain on the West Coast, has been dishing out meals since the late 1940s, but many avid customers continue to ponder some of the most pressing questions associated with the restaurant's hidden secrets. A self-proclaimed associate with the chain recently took to Reddit to serve out any and all answers to those interesting queries. The "Ask Me Anything" post received a slew of random questions, and it appears the employee, who says she has nearly two years of experience at In-N-Out, wasn't afraid to tell all.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Late Night': Checking in With Trump's EPA]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:31:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-19-at-4.32.48-AM.jpg

Seth Meyers takes a break from the all the breaking news to check in with how the Trump Administration's Environmental Protection Agency is doing.

<![CDATA['Late Night': NY Attorney General Talks Suing Trump]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:28:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-19-at-4.29.42-AM.jpg

Seth Meyers sits down with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to talk about that time he sued Donald Trump over his now-defunct Trump University.

<![CDATA['Tonight': Jada Pinkett Smith Toured a Swamp With Will Smith]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:23:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-19-at-4.24.38-AM.jpg

Jada Pinkett Smith explains how she ended up on a public New Orleans swamp tour with her husband Will Smith, thanks to her "Girls Trip" co-star Tiffany Haddish's love of Groupon.

<![CDATA['Tonight': Catchphrase With Pinkett Smith, DeHaan, Ora]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:19:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-19-at-4.19.39-AM.jpg

Jimmy Fallon teams up with Jada Pinkett Smith against Dane DeHaan and Rita Ora for a game of Catchphrase. 

<![CDATA[Keone and Mari Madrid Take 'World of Dance' by Storm]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:53:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/maxresdefault-1-keonemari.jpg

From hanging with Justin Bieber to performing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," married performers Keone and Mari Madrid are no strangers to fame.

But now the couple is dancing directly into the spotlight, competing for a $1 million prize on in NBC's hit competition show "World of Dance." 

The couple has previously starred in Bieber’s "Love Yourself" music video and received a nomination for an MTV Video Music Award for their choreography in a Flying Lotus music video. Now they're among the professional dancers from more than 25 countries competing as individuals, pairs, or in groups in "World of Dance."

The show's star-studded panel of judges, which includes executive producer Jennifer Lopez, former "Dancing With the Stars" professional Derek Hough and singer Ne-Yo, scores the performers on their dances in five categories and determines whether the dancers will move on to the next round. 

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But professional dance stardom doesn't happen overnight. Both dancers started their careers in their teen years—Keone in San Diego, California, and Mari in Boulder, Colorado.

"I played basketball for 10 years and transitioned my way to dance," Keone said. "It wasn’t the popular decision at the time. Dancing wasn’t really trendy as far as males go … I just fell in love with it. I always had an affinity for dance."

The couple started dating after they taught a dance workshop together and later married on June 10, 2012. They have worked together before, but "World of Dance" marks their first time competing as a pair. As a dance duo and married couple, Keone and Mari joke that they actually need to schedule time apart instead of try to get together like other dancing pairs.

"We are very willing to work with each other to do what we have to do to get something that we’re proud of … which isn’t always easy." Mari said. "But I think with that communication and commitment, we’re always willing to figure it out."

The couple characterize their style as "Urban Dance," but the nuance of their style transcends traditional dance categories.

"I think in dance shows there's been more ballroom, or contemporary, or even more trick stuff, but we're not any of those things," Keone said. "We're more subtle, we like to use storytelling and we like to be intricate sometimes with our musicality."

The couple tries to thread a narrative through their dance performances to help people to relate to their work. Keone and Mari’s performance in the "Duels" round of "World of Dance" focused on the idea that people use their cell phones too much and lose sight of the world around them.

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"There are so many interesting things that we as humans go through in society," Keone said. "We're always keen on relatability because we understand that not everyone understands the technicalities of dancing … but what everyone will understand is a story, and if we're able to reach them that way, then hopefully we can reach more people."

Catch Keone and Mari on "World of Dance" Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.

Photo Credit: NBC World of Dance via YouTube
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<![CDATA[Ed's Back: Sheeran Returns to Twitter After Disappearing Act]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:25:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/edrednose.jpg

And he's back.

Ed Sheeran's disappearance from Twitter appears to be short-lived.

The singer's account is back online hours after it suddenly vanished. All of Sheeran's tweets since April 2015 have been removed, and the singer's more than 19 million followers have been reduced to a few thousand.

The moves follow Sheeran's cameo on the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" on Sunday night. Sheeran's appearance as a singing soldier became a buzzed-about topic on social media.

The 26-year-old told Britain's Sun tabloid this month that he was no longer using his Twitter account aside from posting his Instagram pictures to it. He called Twitter a platform for "saying mean things" and was trying to "work out why people dislike me so much."

Sheeran's representatives didn't immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump Jr.'s Russian Meeting]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 03:13:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/ScreenShot2017-07-18at6.11.29AM.jpg

Seth Meyers catches up on the news surrounding President Donald Trump, including his recent trip to France and revelations about his son Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians.

<![CDATA['Late Night': Maya Rudolph Plays Basket o' Wigs]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 03:02:20 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ScreenShot2017-07-18at5.55.33AM.jpg

Seth Meyers sits down with Maya Rudolph, who tries out her new Ivanka Trump impression and tries on various wigs for different characters.

<![CDATA['Tonight': Fallon Counts How Long Trump Shook Macron's Hand]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 02:55:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tsjf-monologue-032517.jpg

In his opening monologue, Jimmy Fallon discusses World Emoji Day and President Donald Trump's recent trip to France.

Photo Credit: Tonight Show/NBCUniversal]]>
<![CDATA['Tonight': Fallon Plays Songs You Should Avoid Online]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 02:49:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/FALLON_GettyImages-528518222.jpg

Jimmy Fallon highlights some music you may not want to play, including Cool Company's "Call You Back" and Philippe Katerine's "Moustache."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Celeb Pics: Day One of San Diego's Comic-Con]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:00:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-819621544o.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty ]]>
<![CDATA[R. Kelly Accused of Brainwashing Women in 'Cult': Report]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 03:29:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490064628.jpg

Parents and former members of R. Kelly’s reported “inner circle” have accused the R&B superstar of brainwashing women and keeping them in a “cult” where he controls their every move, according to a new report.

In an explosive BuzzFeed News article written by Jim DeRogatis, parents of at least two women say they’ve been in a battle to get their daughters back from Kelly and reported “sources,” including women in his close circle, have made allegations suggesting mental and physical abuse of several women by the artist. 

"Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him," attorney Linda Mensch told NBC 5 in a statement. "Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name."

In the article, the parents of Georgia and Florida singers say their daughters each met Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, at concerts when they were in their late-teens, but what they claim was supposed to be a professional relationship, eventually transformed into a sexual one.

One couple, identified only as J. and Tim, said they haven’t seen their daughter since December.

“It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible,” J. told BuzzFeed. “I hugged her and hugged her. But she just kept saying she’s in love and [Kelly] is the one who cares for her. I don’t know what to do. I hope that if I get her back, I can get her treatment for victims of cults. They can reprogram her. But I wish I could have stopped it from happening.”

Buzzfeed said it verified the full names of both the parents and their daughter using public record, but was not reporting the victims' name and her parents' last name to protect her privacy. NBC Chicago also obtained the names of the family in a police report, but is withholding them for the same reasons.

The article also named three former members of Kelly’s inner circle – Cheryl Mack, Kelly’s former personal assistant, and Kitti Jones and Asante McGee, who both said they had sexual relationships and lived with Kelly during the past five years, though there is little documentation of their relationships with the artist. The insiders claim as many as six women, whom the artist calls his “babies,” live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and suburban Atlanta, with Kelly dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they sleep and their sexual encounters. He also allegedly confiscates their personal phones and makes them use a phone he gives them for contacting him only, unless they are given permission to call someone else.

“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet, but Robert is the devil,” McGee told BuzzFeed, adding that the women are "punished" if they fail to follow his rules.

The parents of the Florida singer, identified only as Theresa and Angelo for similar privacy concerns, said they first learned of their daughter’s relationship with Kelly when she didn’t come home from school and later texted them saying she was at his hotel.

In August 2015, the family said they sent their oldest daughter to Chicago to check on her sister, but once at his recording studio, the woman was involved in an altercation with men at the location while she tried to take her younger sister away.

Multiple attempts to reach the woman were also unsuccessful, according to BuzzFeed, but after she and Kelly were asked for comment, the woman reportedly reached out to her father and invited him to Kelly’s Indiana performance on Saturday.

The father declined, however, saying he was wary of Kelly’s motivations.

DeRogatis, who has reported on previous allegations surrounding Kelly, said he was first contacted by the parents of the Georgia singer in November and worked on the story for nine months.

Kelly’s Chicago-based attorney told the publication the allegations made are “the price of fame” and “we can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life.”

Kelly himself has not addressed the allegations on social media, simply posting on Twitter Saturday about his performance in Merrillville, Indiana.

All of the women involved in the allegations are, by law, consenting adults, and welfare checks done by police have not led to any charges. A Cook County Sheriff’s police report obtained by NBC Chicago states officers performed a well-being check at Kelly’s music studio at the request of the parents of the Georgia singer, who told authorities their daughter was “being held against her will along with another young lady.” The woman, who authorities said had no visible injuries or markings, told officers she was “fine and did not want to be bothered with her parents because her father was threatening people.” She also said she did not know the other woman mentioned by her family.

Numerous attempts by both the parents and BuzzFeed to contact the Georgia woman went unanswered, but the woman’s grandmother, who has maintained some contact, told Buzzfeed her granddaughter told her she is in a consensual relationship with Kelly and thought her parents were trying to ruin the artist’s career.

The Grammy winner’s shows and lyrics often focus on sex and infidelity — such as his Trapped in the Closet series.

Kelly, who is known for his hits including, "I Believe I Can Fly," ''Bump N' Grind" and "Ignition," has in the past denied allegations he had sexual relationships with underage girls, although he has settled a number of lawsuits. In 2008, a Chicago jury acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges after he was accused of having sex with an underage girl and videotaping it. He has also previously been accused of marrying his manager’s teen niece, singer Aaliyah.

In a recent interview, Kelly declined to address allegations he married the then-15-year-old singer. Kelly said the two were “best friends, deep friends,” and admitted that he was in love with her “just like I was in love with anybody else.” But when it came to addressing the questions surrounding the pair’s rumored marriage, which reports claim was quickly annulled, Kelly said that, out of respect for Aaliyah's family and because of her passing, “I will never have that conversation with anyone.”

NBC Chicago's request for comment from RCA Records was not immediately responded to. NBC has not independently verified the allegations made. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>