R Kelly has been accused of holding six women in an abusive sex cult.
The claims, which the 50-year-old star denies, have been made by three of his ex-employees and the parents of his alleged victims.
Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee, who worked for Kelly, claim the six women, aged 18 to 31, live in homes rented by him around Chicago and Atlanta.
Mack, Jones and McGee allege Kelly “controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep”.
They also allege that Kelly controlled the women’s “sexual encounters that he records and then shows to male friends”.
Mack, who was Kelly’s assistant, said the singer, who had a No1 in 1997 with I Believe I Can Fly, was “a master at mind control” and “a puppet master”.
One family, from Georgia, told police their daughter was being held in a “cult” by “abusive” and “controlling” Kelly.
The mother of the woman said her daughter “looked like a prisoner”, seeming “brainwashed”.
But when police tracked her down, the woman said she was “fine and did not want to be bothered with her parents”.
Kelly’s lawyer Linda Mensch said: “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.”
Kelly was acquitted in 2008 on 14 charges of child pornography.