TV journalist Gayle King spoke with disgraced singer R. Kelly’s girlfriends — yes, girlfriends — in an interview that aired on CBS This Morning on Thursday, March 7, 2019. And she had something to say about the whole ordeal.
Speaking with her CBS colleagues after the interview, King revealed that she wanted to help the women, 21-year-old Azriel Clary and 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage, as her maternal instincts kicked in while speaking with them. “I just wanted to say as a mother, ‘Get your things. Let’s go,'” she said. She continued, noting that she wanted to say to Clary and Savage, “You are 21, you are 23, and he is 52 years old.”
She went on, “I know many people believe that age is just a number — when you’re looking at these women they … parrot … a lot of what he is saying.”
Clary and Savage’s parents reportedly believed that the women have been brainwashed by Kelly. Kelly stands accused of 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time of the alleged incidents (via People). He’s also long been rumored to have pressured women into sexual relationships, often women younger than 18 years of age, and to have started a sex cult (via NPR). Kelly has maintained his innocence.
In regards to her parents’ claims and to the allegations against Kelly, which were highlighted in the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly, Clary told King, “Negativity sells. Gossip sells. Rumors are what sell.”
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Clary’s mother and father (Alice and Angelo Clary), released a statement regarding her behavior, as reportedly by CNN. “Azriel Clary is suffering from years of mental abuse and manipulation by R. Kelly,” he said. “Azriel and Joycelyn Savage have been manipulated and convinced by him to lie to protect him from serious criminal charges.”
In response to Azriel Clary’s claim that her parents encouraged her to start a relationship with Kelly in hopes to blackmail the singer in the future and that they’re currently only after receiving money from Kelly, Avenetti stated, “Azriel’s parents never attempted to blackmail anyone and never suggested their daughter take nude photos or sexual videos. These are absolute lies fabricated by R. Kelly and we have evidence to show that these claims are bogus.”
Clary’s father also called King to “apologize” for how his daughter acted during their interview. “That is not the daughter I raised. I do not know that girl. I’m so sorry,” Clary’s dad said, as King shared during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, March 7.
Lawyer Gerald Griggs, who represents Joycelyn Savage’s parents, also denied their daughter’s claims that they sought a payout from Kelly. “At no point have the Savages requested any money from Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly, they have never received any money from Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly, they don’t want any money from Robert Sylvester Kelly,” Griggs stated.
In Accordance with Gayle King, R. Kelly was present while she Talked with Clary and Savage. Although the R&B artist had been allegedly around the corner, King explained he could”cough quite loudly,” presumably in a bid to ensure Clary and Savage knew that he had been listening. Along with the coughs seemingly often occurred when King asked the girls questions which Kelly did not enjoy, as she shared The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.Kelly also allegedly tried to stop her meeting with his girlfriends, requesting members of her team if he must disrupt, but he finally never did.Seeing her one-on-one interview with Kelly himself, King expressed surprise that the public’s negative opinion of his obvious habit of entering relationships with younger girls would not give him pause prior to relationship other younger girls later on. “He keeps stating that’I did not do anything wrong, that these girls are lying,'” King told bunch Stephen Colbert. “I go everyone is lying for you personally? You knowthat simply defies logic.” I believe one day years from now, everyone will look back to this and say it is very sad, really tawdry, and only really very awful.”