R. Kelly broke into tears while maintaining innocence during his first interview after being indicted on sexual abuse charges. The singer also claimed that his past is irrelevant in the ongoing controversy concerning his alleged sexual relations with underage girls.
Following months of accusations and speculations, Kelly was indicted on criminal sexual abuse charges almost two weeks ago, and now, in an exclusive interview with CBS’s Gayle King, he insists he’s innocent.
In a snippet of the interview published by CBS News, King, 64, asked Kelly if he still claims he’s never been with underage girls. Of the four female victims involved in Kelly’s charges, three were minors at the time he allegedly performed sexual acts on them.
Responding to King’s question, Kelly avoided a “Yes” or “No” and instead, said:
“I sit here and say this: I had two cases back then that I said in the beginning of the interview that I would not talk about because of my ongoing case now. Fair enough, but I will tell you this: people are going back to my past, OK? That's exactly what they're doing. They're going back to the past, and they trying to add all of this stuff now to that. To make all of this stuff that's going on now feels real to people.”
“But the past is relevant with you with underage girls?” King countered, prompting a disagreement from the “Happy People” singer.
“Absolutely, no it's not. Because for one, I beat my case. When you beat something, you beat it,” he said, referring to the child pornography charges from which he was acquitted back in 2008.
“You can't double-jeopardy me like that. You can't. It's not fair. It's not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case,” he added.
When King clarified that she was talking about the other women who had come forward since the 2008 case to accuse Kelly of performing sexual acts on them before they were 18 and holding them against their will, the R&B singer maintained that the accusations were not true.
He then got emotional, breaking into tears as he faced a camera and told viewers:
“That's stupid! Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to, love me if you want. But just use your common sense. How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I've been through – oh right now I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don't let them eat, don't let them out, unless they need some shoes down the street from their uncle! Stop it. You don't quit playing. Quit playing. I didn't do this stuff! This is not me! I'm fighting for my [expletive] life!”
Kelly, 52, turned himself in after Cook County prosecutors charged him on February 22 with a total of 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse towards four women. Three of those women were minors at the time the alleged abuse took place between 1998 and 2010.
The "Bump N' Grind" singer was initially remanded in custody after failing to post his $100,000 bond. According to his lawyer, Steven Greenberg, Kelly "really doesn't have any money at this point."
Valencia Love, a business owner/Kelly’s acquaintance, eventually posted the bond with money reportedly gotten from her daughter’s wrongful death lawsuit settlement.
Following his 2008 child pornography trial, Kelly’s sexual behavior came into question again decades later in the wake of the #MeToo movement and more specifically, Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part docu-series featuring several women who recount the alleged physical and sexual abuse they suffered at his hands.
Kelly, whose birth name is Robert Kelly, is pleading not guilty to all the charges brought against him and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 22.
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