R. Kelly is breaking his silence.
The embattled R&B singer spoke to Gayle King on Wednesday for a two-part CBS This Morning interview after he was arrested on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He’s pleaded not guilty.
Most of the early clips have seen Kelly emotional and raw, yelling at camera crews saying, “I did not do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f**king life!”
But King remained calm throughout, even as she asked Kelly if he ever had sex with anyone under the age of 17 which he denied. asking Kelly about his relationship with alleged victims Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary whom Kelly referred to as his girlfriends.
When asked about her reaction to all that is occurring with Kelly, Clary said, “I’m crying because you guys don’t know the truth! You guys are believing some f***king facade from our parents! This is all lies for money! You can’t see that you’re ignorant & stupid.”
Kelly on dating younger women, “I don’t look at much younger than me. I just look at legal. I just look at you’re you, I’m me. Now, I don’t know if you’re married. I don’t know. I don’t know if you have a relationship. I don’t know what you – you know, I don’t know. But one might be older than the other. One might be younger than the other, okay? So I just look at legal, okay? People. There are older men that like younger women … there are younger women that like older men.”
He also says that Cleary’s parents “wanted” him to have sex with her when she was 17 and denies “claims” that her parents have text messages confirming the two had a sexual relationship when the teen was 17. He says the parents of Savage and Cleary “handed” them to him.
At the onset of the interview, King says she’s surprised Kelly agreed to do the interview. “I’m very tired of all of the lies. I’ve been hearing things, and you know, and seeing things on the blogs, and you know, you know, I’m just tired,” Kelly said. When asked about what specific details, which he referred to as lies, have disturbed him the most regarding the case, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer said, “Oh my God. Um — all of them, got little girls trapped in the basement… helicopters over my house trying to rescue someone that doesn’t need rescuing because they’re not in my house,” he said, adding, “Handcuffing people, starving people. I have a harem, what you call it – a cult. I don’t even really know what a cult is. But I know I don’t have one.”
King asked Kelly about the women who appeared in Surviving R. Kelly, the six-part documentary that aired on Lifetime in January. Kelly denied their claims.
“Why would these women say the same thing about you? That you are controlling, that you are abusive, that you tell women when to eat, when to go to the bathroom, when they can sleep, where they can dress?” King asked. “Why would all these women tell these different stories about you if they were not true and they don’t know each other? That defies logic to me.”
Kelly said, “Right. Right. Until you hear the explanation. You can start a rumor on a guy like me or a celebrity just like that,” Kelly said. “All you have to do is push a button on your phone and say so and so did this to me, R. Kelly did this to me, and if you get any traction from that, if you’re able to write a book from that, if you’re able to get a reality show… then any girl that I had a relationship in the past that it just didn’t work out, she can come and say the same exact thing.”
He attributes that to the power of social media.
In terms of how he’s current viewed in the music industry as John Legend and Lady Gaga have called him out, Kelly said, “The interesting thing about this is the fact, working with Lady Gaga, she’s a very great talent and all,” Kelly said. “It’s unfortunate that her intelligence go to such a short level when it comes to that. I have nothing against these artists but I think it’s unprofessional for them to do that.”