In Explosive Interview, R. Kelly Defends Himself Against Sex Abuse Allegations

The musician, facing serious charges, told 'CBS This Morning' that he is 'fighting' for his life right now

Image Credit: Screenshot, CBS

In an explosive new interview with “CBS This Morning,” musician R. Kelly said he is “fighting” for his life.

The “Trapped in the Closet” singer was indicted back in early February on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

The charges stemmed from a January documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired on the Lifetime network. Multiple females and former colleagues accused Kelly of holding women against their will and of preying on underage girls in the docuseries.

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This has not been the first time Kelly has dealt with sexual misconduct allegations. Some charges go all the way back to the ’90s. The rapper went on trial before, on charges of 14 counts of child pornography. He was indicted in 2002 on the charges but was acquitted in 2008. That case revolved around a sex tape Kelly had allegedly made with an underage girl, but lawyers successfully argued the identity of the girl in the tape could not be confirmed. The jury deliberated for a few hours before acquitting him.

In hot water with the law yet again, Kelly sat down with Gayle King to defend himself against mounting allegations of sexual abuse.

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“I’m very tired of all of the um, lies, I’ve been hearing things and seeing things on the blogs, and I’m just tired,” he told King on Wednesday morning.

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Asked what lies about him bothered him most, Kelly said, “All of them” — before mentioning specifically “that little girls trapped in a basement, helicopters over my house, trying to rescue someone who doesn’t need to be rescued because they’re not in my house.”

Kelly denied doing anything illegal with women and said he has never had an intimate relationship with anyone under the age of 17.

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“[I did] lots of things wrong when it comes to women, but I apologized in those relationships,” he said.

On the Lifetime docuseries that brought many of the allegations to the attention of the mainstream media, Kelly said, “Everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said something good. They was describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I made mistakes, but I’m not a devil.”

Kelly partly blamed social media and the attention on people for lies that are told.

He later called some of the allegations against him “stupid” — saying a celebrity of his stature and with his controversial past would have to be “stupid” to hold women against their will in his home.

“I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive from these lies,” he said.

Kelly then became more incensed — and began ranting directly to the camera.

“I don’t need to,” he said about holding women against their will. “Why would I? How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all that I’ve been through … to hold somebody. That’s stupid.”

“That’s stupid! Use your common sense,” he added. “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!'”

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He eventually jumped out of his seat and angrily shouted at the camera, holding tears back as he spoke.

“Stop it. You don’t quit playing. Quit playing. I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f***ing life!” he yelled.

After a moment to calm down, Kelly said he needed “help.”

“I need help. This is the kind of help I need. I need somebody to help me not have a big heart. My heart is so big. People betray me and I keep on giving to them.”

Gayle King, during a break in the interview, insisted she never felt in danger, even though Kelly at one point was waving his fists and yelling.

In the second part of the interview, King asked Kelly about two young women — Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, both 21 — who currently live with him.

“I love ’em and it’s almost like, they’re my girlfriends,” the rapper said. “We have a relationship. It’s real. I’ve known guys all my life who’ve had five or six women.”

Kelly then talked about the abuse he faced as a child and said he is currently fighting not just for his career, but for a relationship with his kids — he has three.

Kelly, 52, tried to clarify the perception that he likes young girls.

“I don’t look at [girls] much younger than me. I look at legal. One might be older than the other, one might be younger than the other. I just look at legal. There are older men that like younger women, there are younger women that like older men … I’m a man who likes all women.”

Kelly then talked about the abuse he faced as a child and said he is currently fighting not just for his career, but for a relationship with his kids — he has three.

Asked what he would do if his daughter said a man had done to her what Kelly has been accused of, the singer said, “I’d be up in that motherf***er’s face f***ing everything up … I would have to arrest myself after I did what I had to do.”

Check out part of R. Kelly’s explosive interview with “CBS This Morning” below:

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