Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly has spoken out since being hit with an indictment on ten counts of sexual abuse, and, as could be expected, he’s not happy. He even had something to say to his fellow music artists who said words against him, including Lady Gaga and John Legend.
In an exclusive interview with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King that aired on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Kelly called Gaga and Legend “not professional” when asked about how he feels about his place in the music industry, as reported by The Wrap. Regarding Gaga specifically, who had publicly apologized for working with Kelly in the past, he said that, though she is “a very great talent,” he believed it was “unfortunate that her intelligence go to such a short level when it comes to that.”
Still, Kelly said he has “nothing against” either Gaga or Legend, the latter of whom had called him a “serial child rapist” — but, according to him, they were just unprofessional. “Because something like this can happen to any artist,” he explained. “Anybody famous. Anybody famous can get accused of so many different things.”
To that, King disagreed, arguing that “people have gone their whole careers and not have the allegations that have been leveled against” Kelly.
R. Kelly, who’s been followed by rumors of sexual misconduct for years, was formally charged with “10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse” and taken into police custody in February 2019, as reported by CBS News. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx revealed that the charges stem from incidents involving four women, three of whom were reportedly between 13 and 16 years old at the time. If convicted on all counts, Kelly, who has pleaded not guilty, could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison.
He was released from jail in late February 2019, after someone posted bond for him, paying $100,000 — 10 percent of his $1 million bail, as reported by TMZ.
The charges came after Kelly was the subject of the TV documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which followed multiple women’s accounts of R. Kelly’s allegedly deviant behavior and abuse (via Rolling Stone). Tweeting out about the documentary, in which he also appeared, John Legend told followers, “I believe these women and don’t give a f*** about protecting a serial child rapist.”
After the documentary aired, Lady Gaga took to social media to apologize for ever having collaborated with R. Kelly. In a message on Twitter, she said, “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault,” adding, “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.” She continued, “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
Gaga, who released the song “Do What U Want (With My Body)” with Kelly in 2013, noted that, as a “victim of sexual assault,” she “made both the song and the video at a dark time in [her] life.” She added that, if she could do things all over again, she would have told herself to go to therapy and deal with her trauma.
R. Kelly’s comments about Gaga and Legend, of course, weren’t the only ones he made during his interview with Gayle King. He also claimed that the allegations brought forward in Surviving R. Kelly were all lies. “They was describing Lucifer,” he said. “I’m not Lucifer.”
When pointedly asked if he’s ever held anyone against their will — in July 2017, BuzzFeed reported that he ran a sex cult in which he allegedly controlled the lives of women — Kelly responded, “I don’t need to. Why would I? How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all I‘ve been through in my way, way past, to hold somebody … how stupid would I be to do that?”
In an emotional fit, he later added, “I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f**king life!” To Kelly, King suggested that he was “playing the victim.” And it’d appear that many others thought so too. As one social media user said, “R. kelly talk exactly like somebody who is lying.”