R. Kelly before he abruptly ended his HuffPost Live interview. (Photo: HuffPost Live)
R. Kelly walked off the HuffPost Live set on Monday, after host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani asked if he thought public perception of him had impacted his recent album sales.
“F**k that,” said the 48-year-old singer. “I’m a man that believes what I see. And everywhere I go, from malls to restaurants to tours, sold-out tours, overseas and back, and everywhere I’ve been — and I’m a man who’s been around the world a few times — and everywhere I’ve been I get nothing but love.“ R. Kelly’s last album, Black Panties, sold 133,000 copies domestically in its first week. His upcoming album, The Buffet, was projected to sell 100,000 less than that in its first week.
In 1997, a 20-year-old woman accused R. Kelly of having sex with her when he was 24 and she was just 15. He settled that lawsuit out of court. Then in 2002, video surfaced showing him having sex with — and urinating on — another underage girl. (Kelly was ultimately found not guilty on all 14 counts of child pornography.)
During the HuffPost Live interview, Kelly and Modarressy-Tehrani got into a tense 10 minute exchange beginning at around the 7:30 minute mark during which he questioned her intelligence and asked if she knew what a deposition was. “I did not come here to get interrogated,” he said. “I did not come here for a deposition. This is a deposition. This is not about R. Kelly. This is not about music. This is not about someone who works hard on his music who has an album out. This is about trying to interrogate me and this is about disrespect.”
When asked what he’d say to fans who don’t want to buy his music, the singer said, "I love all of my fans. People that are against me, people that are with me, I love them all. It doesn’t matter who they are — if they hate me, they love me, they want to destroy me. I love ‘em all, and I love you, too. I love everybody.”
“You don’t need to give me any of your love, sir,” Modarressy-Tehrani responded, before unsuccessfully trying to fit in one more question.
“This interview is over,” announced Kelly.
He then removed his mic, thanked Modarressy-Tehrani and called her beautiful as he walked off the set. But Modarressy-Tehrani got the last word: "You don’t need to comment on my appearance, sir.“