Parents of R. Kelly's Girlfriend Say Daughter Is Trapped in "Monstrous" Situation
Alice and Angelo Clary told Gayle King they are scared for Azriel Clary: "I feel like I failed my daughter."
Gayle King continued her coverage of the R. Kelly saga on Wednesday's CBS This Morning by sitting down with the parents of Azriel Clary, one of the women who is currently living with the embattled R&B singer. The parents say their daughter is trapped in what they called a "monstrous" situation.
As part of King's sit-down agreement with Kelly that aired in multiple parts last week, the CBS anchor spoke with Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, during a tense interview where the two women claimed to be in a relationship with 52-year-old Kelly. Clary, particularly, grew combative with King as she prodded about their sex life and after the interview, King told Time that the two women would regret this moment later in their lives.
King also said Angelo Clary personally called King after watching the interview to apologize, saying he was "ashamed" after watching his daughter.
Both Clary and Savage claim their parents exploited them for monetary gain or a musical career. The Savage family vehemently denied those claims during their sit-down with King last week and, Wednesday, Angelo and Alice Clary got their turn to respond.
"I take full responsibility," Angelo Clary told King about the "monstrous" and "sick" situation his daughter is now in with Kelly. "I feel like I failed my daughter because I should have saw different signs. I should have saw the change in my baby girl instead of the love that we instilled in her that she was showing us and putting on a charade. We can take responsibility but to the world, how much responsibility did R. Kelly take?"
Kelly was charged in Illinois with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and has pleaded not guilty. Three of those four alleged victims were minors at the time of the suspected crimes. Further investigations in both Illinois and New York are reportedly underway. Kelly has also been accused in the media of holding women in a so-called sex cult and against their will.
"I've heard a suicide pact. I've heard all kinds of stuff," Alice Clary told King about the women who have come in and out of Kelly's life, including her daughter. She told King that she heard her daughter tried to leave twice and was brought back both times. And though she said Kelly has a complicit network surrounding him, their daughter also "had to prove their loyalty to him by any means necessary...she was lying and duping us and pulling the wool over our eyes from the beginning."
Angelo and Alice Clary participated in Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, on which they shared the details of how Azriel Clary came to live with Kelly. Azriel Clary, who attempted suicide shortly before meeting Kelly in 2015, was 17 when she went on tour with the R&B star.
"I didn't trust him," Angelo Clary clarified to King, adding that they were told there would be a chaperone. "I trusted my daughter would be honest with us and this was strictly about her music."
King said that after she spoke with the Clary parents, the Chicago Police investigated Kelly's residence for a welfare check and determined everyone was fine. She also said there are plans in motion to temporarily reunite both families with their daughters.
Dominique Gardner, one of Kelly's longtime girlfriends who was shown being rescued by her mother from a hotel room on Surviving R. Kelly, has also spoken out for the first time since returning back home. Gardner, now 27, had been with Kelly for nine years and described the controlling relationship to the New Yorker's Jim DeRogatis in detail. When she disobeyed Kelly, Gardner said the “consequences” included spankings, slappings, beatings, and being hit with an extension cord.
"He tried to break me,” she said. "I couldn’t be broken. He wanted that control over me, and I wouldn’t give him that power. So, he figured, like, If I don’t give her food, she’ll come around. Nope. I’d rather die than come around and give you my soul."