R. Kelly Denies Sexual Abuse Allegations in First TV Interview Since Arrest: "This Is Not Me"
Kelly was arrested Feb. 22 on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four females, three of whom were minors.
R. Kelly is denying allegations of sexual abuse against him in a new interview airing Wednesday with CBS This Morning's Gayle King.
In a preview clip of the interview released Tuesday, King asked the R&B singer about the latest allegations, to which he replied, "People are going back to my past, OK? That’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re going back to the past, and they're 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 pressed. "Absolutely, no it’s not," Kelly said, adding, "Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true."
Kelly was arrested Feb. 22 on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four females, three of whom were minors. The next day, Kelly's bond was set at $1 million, and he was released Feb. 25 after paying the required $100,000 bail as he awaits trial.
The R&B artist — who is known for sex-themed songs such as "Bump N' Grind" and "Your Body's Callin'" — has for years been trailed by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. When asked about the latter claim, Kelly got emotional, saying, "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, let alone four, five, six, 50, you said — how stupid would I be to do that?"
He continued, "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, 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!'"
"Robert," King interjected, referring to the singer by his first name.
"Y'all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my fucking life," he yelled while looking into the camera.
Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has consistently denied all claims of sexual misconduct. Of his acquittal, he told King that "I beat my case," adding that "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."
In a separate interview to air Friday, King also sat down with two young women currently living with Kelly, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage. Savage's parents have accused Kelly of kidnapping their daughter, although she says she’s living with the singer on her own free will.
"Stop it. All you quit playing. Quit playing. I didn't do this stuff! This is not me! I'm fighting for my f***ing life!" R&B singer R. Kelly angrily denies sexual abuse claims in an explosive interview with @GayleKing; watch @CBSThisMorning, Weds. at 7a ET https://t.co/awWHvHZMMN pic.twitter.com/fGeYev4Elm— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 6, 2019