R. Kelly had a screaming and crying fit during the first part of his interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning.
The 52-year-old R&B singer — who was arrested last month on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault on four victims, three of them underage — broke his silence during an 80-minute interview with King. In the preview, it was clear he maintains his innocence, but the first part, which aired on Wednesday, saw him become unhinged and go on a rant, which required a break and his rep to come and calm him down.
The subject of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries denied ever having sex with a minor. King made her question very clear asking again, “Never?” and he replied, “No.”
He went on to say he never held a woman against her will. He denied claims he has a harem or cult of women and said that’s just another lie about him concocted by bitter exes or others out for money. “They are lying on me,” Kelly said. “I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive. Lies.”
He continued, “I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I make mistakes, but I’m not a devil, and by no means am I a monster.”
Talking about how he’s fighting for his life led to his meltdown in which he got up from his seat, paced, cried and pounded his chest. Kelly said people don’t want to believe the truth, and the allegations against him are preventing him from having a relationship with his kids (Joann, otherwise known as Buku Abi, is 20, Jay is 18 and Robert Jr. is 16). He also acknowledged that he’s emotional because it was the first time he was speaking out.
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Kelly painted himself the victim. “I need somebody to help me not have a big heart because my heart is so big, people betrayed me,” he cried at one point, “and I keep forgiving them.” When King called him out for playing the victim, he replied, “I’m just telling the truth.”
King, who is winning praise for her interview, said Wednesday that her children and best friend Oprah Winfrey called to ask if she was worried for her safety during Kelly’s outburst. She said she told them that she thought she might “accidentally get clobbered, but I didn’t think he would deliberately try to hurt me.” Twitter thought she did a great job handling the emotional Kelly.
give gayle the emmy just for this picture https://t.co/Gs70Cs5nWj
— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) March 6, 2019
Gayle’s giving him the same face I’ve seen black mommas gives their toddlers during temper tantrums. I was just waiting for her to say, “Are you done yet?” https://t.co/awfA0dntv2
— Angie Thomas (@angiecthomas) March 6, 2019
I want to be ‘Gayle King’ unbothered in this life. pic.twitter.com/wjE5Xq04Hu
— Dénola Grey (@DenolaGrey) March 6, 2019
Thank you, Gayle King. It’s hard to stay composed, but you are showing people how abusive men try to maintain control of others. https://t.co/EWaJpk1Zch
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 6, 2019
Later in the interview, Kelly went on to talk about the two women who currently live with him, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary. Both women were interviewed as well. He said he “loves” them and they’re “my girlfriends.” When questioned about their young ages, he replied, “I don’t look at much younger than me. I just look at legal.”
Kelly insisted that he didn’t have sex with either woman while they were minors. He also accused their parents, who have publicly expressed concern over their safety with Kelly, of being in it for the money. He said that their parents were OK with the girls being with him until they were “getting no money from me.” He suggested that the parents sold the girls. “What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?” he asked. When King questioned if the parents handed over the women to him, he replied, “Absolutely.”
King also asked Kelly about him being molested as a child and whether he thinks he needs therapy (he is considering it). He said he’s speaking out not to save his career, but to proclaim his innocence in his legal case — and in hopes of having a relationship with his children again.
King said he became emotional several times during the interview, not just the part that aired on Wednesday. The other parts of the 80-minute chat will air on Thursday and Friday and will also include his thoughts on Lady Gaga speaking out against him. In a preview, he called Gaga “a very great talent,” but said it was “not professional” for her to apologize for working with Kelly. He also said that what happened to him “can happen to any artist. Anybody famous. Anybody famous can get accused of so many different things.”
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