Joycelyn Savage’s family is comprised of her father, Timothy Savage, her mother, Jonjelyn Savage, and her two younger sisters, Jailyn and Jori.
Jailyn Savage is 18 years old, and Jori is 11 years old.
The Savage family has responded to the recent R. Kelly interview with CBS’ Gayle King, in which he vehemently maintained his innocence and insisted that his two girlfriends, Savage and Azriel Clary, were staying with him of their own volition. They called it “heartbreaking,” among other things.
Here’s what you need to know about the Savage family:
1. Savage’s Father, Timothy, Is a Car Dealer, & Her Mother, Jonjelyn Is a Former Small Business Owner
According to a 2017 report by BuzzFeed, Timothy is a car dealer and Jonjelyn is a “fiercely devoted stage mom.” The publication reports that the Savage family moved from Memphis to Atlanta, Georgia, with the direct goal of furthering Savage’s musical career. Via BuzzFeed, Jonjelyn used to own some sort of small business, but shut that down in recent years so that she could spend all of her time trying to get her daughter back.
In a July 2017 interview, Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage said they haven’t seen their daughter since December of the previous year. In the years since then, the Savages have maintained that they’ve still have yet to make contact with their daughter, until March 6, when they finally spoke to her on the phone.
Also in 2017, Savage told TMZ that her father helped to orchestrate her living situation with Kelly, and that he had been the one to drop her at a friends house, where she would later be driven to Kelly’s.
Of the last time they saw their daughter, Jonjelyn said to BuzzFeed, “It was as if she was brainwashed. [She] looked like a prisoner — it was horrible. 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.”
2. Savage Has Only Kept in Touch With Her Grandmother, According to a 2017 BuzzFeed Report
Following her December departure, Savage’s parents told BuzzFeed that they had received a scattering of texts, but nothing more. However, Savage’s grandmother, who is only called “Nana,” confirmed that she has engaged in multiple phone conversations with Savage during her absence.
Nana told BuzzFeed, I’m gravely concerned about her. I would tell R. Kelly to send my granddaughter home. He knows it’s not right and he would not want anybody doing this to his daughter.”
The Savage family has said repeatedly that it is heartbreaking and damaging to the family that they no longer hear from Savage. To local Atlanta affiliate 11Alive on March 6, Savage’s youngest sister, Jori, said, “I haven’t seen my sister in two years and it’s very heartbreaking because I can’t see her because I think she’s being controlled by someone who doesn’t want to talk to me.”
She added, “At least she could call my on my birthday, Christmas, or even talk or go to her grandfather’s funeral.”
3. Savage’s Younger Sister, Jailyn Savage, Is an Instagram Influencer — But Doesn’t Mention Her Sister Ever
Savage’s sister, Jailyn “Jai” Savage, mentions her sister in her Instagram bio account, but she never posts about the current situation with her sister and Kelly. In her bio, one line reads, “#Getjoyhome,” in addition to pointing out that Jailyn is a singer and a model.
“JaiSavage” has just over 33,000 followers on Instagram. She also has a YouTube channel, in which she covers a wide range of topics, from how to make a lace front wig, to a number of makeup tutorials. Jailyn has just under 5,000 subscribers to her channel.
In the past, Jailyn has spoken out about her sister’s relationship to Kelly. Following the release of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, Jailyn said to WREG, “Now it is finally time to get justice for these girls, not just my sister, but for these girls.”
She added, “For someone like R. Kelly to break up a bond that me and my sister had, it’s heartbreaking. I’m ready to build the bond back up that we left off at.”
Jailyn and Savage also have a third, youngest sister, though she rarely speaks in interviews.
4. Following Kelly’s Interview With CBS, the Savage Family Held a Press Conference, Calling it ‘Emotionally Disturbing’
Following Kelly’s interview with Gayle King on CBS, the Savage family held a press conference, which you can watch in full on the Twitter thread above. Each of the family members said something. Jailyn first said, “If people don’t realize it by now that most of the stuff that’s being said…that she’s fine…she would’ve called home by now. She would’ve called my mom, my dad, her little sister…I know for a fact my sister is not okay.”
Timothy confirmed the Savage family watched the interview together, calling it “disturbing.” He also said that they would pray for Kelly to get “some type of healing,” stressing that they were a “church family.”
Jonjelyn said that if Kelly got that upset on camera, she couldn’t imagine how he acted off camera. She said, “He’s very controlling, and when the girls don’t do something, say something he likes, he throws a rage and becomes physically violent to the girls.”
The Savage’s youngest daughter was also present, though she did not speak at the conference.
5. The Savage Family Spoke to Savage for the First Time in Two Years on Tuesday
On March 6, a recording of the Savage family speaking to Joycelyn for the first time in years was released by CBS reporter Adam Harding. In the video above, Savage can be heard repeatedly telling her family that she was happy.
At several points, Jori leans forward to say, “I love you,” to her sister, and to ask her to come home.
Though her mother asks her more than once how they’re supposed to believe that she’s happy when she hasn’t spoken to them or visited them at all, Savage dodges the questions, repeatedly saying she’s happy before letting them know she has to go.