One of the trailblazers in reigniting the fire in R. Kelly‘s investigation of sexual misconduct against minors was Jeronda Pace. Prior to her appearance in Surviving R. Kelly, the 26-year-old broke her nondisclosure agreement with the disgraced R&B singer, 53. Her goal was to help the women still living with Kelly, including Dominque Gardner, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage. Scroll below for details on their relationship and what she is up to today.
How Did She Meet R. Kelly?
When Pace was only 15 years old, she waited outside of a Chicago courtroom to meet Kelly in 2008. At the time, he was on trial for 14 counts of making child pornography. One year later, after Kelly was proven innocent, an employee and friend of his reached out to Pace on Myspace and invited her to a party, which she attended. Kelly then invited her back to his home where she says their sexual relationship began. “He told me that he wanted me to undress for him [and] walk back and forth like I was modeling,” she said of their first moment alone to Buzzfeed. To ensure Pace wouldn’t speak of their relationship, he allegedly had her sign a letter with multiple false allegations against herself.
What Was Their Relationship Like?
Over the course of their relationship, they had sex repeatedly and he often would film their encounters, allegedly without permission. She also had to follow a slew of rules. “I had to call him ‘daddy,’ and he would call me ‘baby.’ He wanted me to have two pigtails, and I had to go out and find little schoolgirl outfits,” she said. Other rules allegedly included asking for permission to shower, eat, go to the bathroom, turning in her cell phone and wearing baggy clothes. If she was to break a rule, she would be mentally and physically abused, she says.
Why Did She Leave?
Pace decided to leave after the two allegedly had an altercation in 2010. “I was slapped, and I was choked and I was spit on,” she told the outlet. The day after she left, she contacted Chicago attorney Susan E. Loggans, now infamous for getting settlements for “numerous” women who had allegations against Kelly. Within weeks, Loggans’ and Kelly’s attorneys negotiated a large settlement in return for Pace’s silence and signing a nondisclosure agreement.
Why Did She Break Her Nondisclosure Agreement?
Although Pace could face charges for violating the terms of their agreement, she felt it was worth the risk when she came out in 2017 and later in Surviving R. Kelly. “I know speaking out against Kelly, Kelly could sue me. But I’m really not worried about it anymore,” she told the outlet. “I feel like this is a healing process for me, because I’ve been holding this in for so many years, and to see that he always gets away with it, it’s just not right. I’m just going forward with my head held high.”
Additionally, Pace had introduced Kelly to her friend, Dominique. When Pace first spoke out, Dominique was still living with him. She felt it was her duty to speak her truth and help her friend. Dominique was rescued by her mother in 2018.
Today, She’s a Proud Mom
At 26, Pace is a proud mother to four children, one son and three daughters. According to her social media, she welcomed her son in early January 2020. She shared a few details from her last pregnancy, including her long labor and feeling self-conscious about having a small baby bump. On Wednesday, January 22, she posted an adorable photo of her daughters with the caption, “MY GIRLS | I posted and deleted this a while back. For a long time, I didn’t want to post my kids on social media because I always feared the worst. However, I no longer live in fear. I love these three beautiful girls. P.S, this is from Mother’s Day, last year.”
She Is Using Her Platform to Speak Her Truth
Although Pace is active on Instagram, she won’t flood your feed with constant pictures and endless stories. Despite being pretty low-key, she does use her platform to spread awareness and share her story. In early January, she shared a screenshot of an account dedicated to tearing her down. “This is why so many people don’t come forward. This will not stop me from speaking my truth.” R. Kelly has denied all allegations of misconduct.
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