The Maroon

Asante McGee meets with L.O.V.E. to discuss domestic violence

Members+of+Loyola%E2%80%99s+L.O.V.E.+chapter+pose+with+author+Asante+McGee+on+Jan.+29.+McGee+spoke+about+her+experiences+with+R.+Kelly+and+abuse.+Photo+credit%3A+Maia+Moses
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Asante McGee meets with L.O.V.E. to discuss domestic violence

Members of Loyola’s L.O.V.E. chapter pose with author Asante McGee on Jan. 29. McGee spoke about her experiences with R. Kelly and abuse. Photo credit: Maia Moses

Members of Loyola’s L.O.V.E. chapter pose with author Asante McGee on Jan. 29. McGee spoke about her experiences with R. Kelly and abuse. Photo credit: Maia Moses

Members of Loyola’s L.O.V.E. chapter pose with author Asante McGee on Jan. 29. McGee spoke about her experiences with R. Kelly and abuse. Photo credit: Maia Moses

Members of Loyola’s L.O.V.E. chapter pose with author Asante McGee on Jan. 29. McGee spoke about her experiences with R. Kelly and abuse. Photo credit: Maia Moses

Maia Moses

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A national saga of sexual assault made it’s way onto Loyola’s campus Tuesday through a presentation to students by author Asante McGee.

Student leaders of Loyola’s L.O.V.E. chapter — an organization with the mission of serving minority women on campus — hosted a conversation Jan. 29 with McGee, author of “No Longer Trapped in The Closet: The Asante McGee Story.” McGee’s book is an autobiography detailing her experiences of overcoming adversity, including what she describes as an abusive relationship with popular rhythm and blues artist R. Kelly.

Kelly has been a prominent figure in national and international news in recent years following various allegations accusing him of sexually abusing underage women. Lifetime’s release in early January of the six-part documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” has resurfaced many of these allegations. McGee is one of Kelly’s accusers featured in the documentary.

McGee described her two-year relationship with R. Kelly as enticing at first.

“From February all the way until May of 2016, he would fly me back and forth to different cities,” McGee said Tuesday. “He would buy me anything that I wanted — he bought me a Mercedes Benz, any kind of designer bags, shoes, whatever. It was no biggie to him. He always was so nice.”

But after being forced to stay with Kelly in his mansion for three weeks, McGee began noticing changes. The mansion in which McGee stayed is the same home in which Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing women on a regular basis.

 

“The ‘Black Room’ was the worst experience that I have ever had in the house,” McGee said. “The ‘Black Room’ is a room that R. Kelly would summon you to have sexual relations with him in, even if you did not want to be in the room. When you got into the ‘Black Room,’ just know that the unimaginable would happen. If you did not agree with it, he would make you feel like you needed to.”

McGee also said that after two weeks of her three-week stay with Kelly, she began to plot her escape. According to accusations from women Kelly abused, the singer allegedly held multiple women, some of whom were underage, hostage in the mansion.

“It was not as easy as some people might think to escape,” McGee added. “We could not just walk out of the front door. There was security at the end of his driveway at all times. So, we could not go in or out of that driveway. Even when we would go places, we would be on the bus and with one of his staff members, so we could not just walk off of the bus.”

McGee said she does not think Kelly needs to spend time in jail for his actions. Instead, she said, he should seek psychiatric evaluation for mental illness.

“Today, I would just like for him to accept accountability for what he has done and to bring the girls back home,” she said. “He keeps saying that he is not holding anyone against their will and has even brought some of the girls out in public. If this is true, why not allow some of these girls to contact their parents and let them know that they are okay? For me, it is not even about jail for him because he has a sickness. He needs to recognize that sickness and get the help that he needs to stop hurting and damaging women.”

By speaking out against Kelly’s abuse, McGee said she hopes to expand her outreach and help other young women who are also victims of abuse.

“For me, this is about more than R. Kelly. Anyone can be abused and we should not be afraid to speak out,” McGee said. “There are serious red flags that need to be taken into consideration, not for the men that come into your life, but the trauma that you are taking into every situation and into every decision. Self-care matters.”

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Asante McGee meets with L.O.V.E. to discuss domestic violence