An emotional R. Kelly says he’s being “assassinated” and denies sexually abusing women and controlling their lives.
The R&B singer gave his first interview, to Gayle King of “CBS This Morning,” since being charged last month with sexually abusing four females dating back to 1998, including three underage girls. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
“All of them are lying,” Kelly, one of the bestselling music artists of all time, said in a segment of the interview broadcast Wednesday. “I have been assassinated.”
Kelly, out on bail following his Feb. 22 arrest in Chicago, said he has done “lots of things wrong” when it comes to women, but said he has apologized. He denies doing anything against their will. The singer said he believes social media is to blame for creating the allegations against him.
At one point during the interview, Kelly stands up and rants, saying: “I have been buried alive, but I’m alive.” He says he needs someone to help him “not have a big heart.”
“You all don’t want to believe the truth,” he said.
When pressed about whether he was attracted to younger women, the 52-year-old Kelly said: “I’m an older man who loves all women.”
The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct and was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008. Those charges centred on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13.
As part of his current case, Kelly is forbidden from having any contact with females younger than 18.
Interviews with two women who live with Kelly will air Friday, including one woman whose parents say is being held against her will. Kelly suggested the young woman’s parents were in it for the money and put blame on them for their relationship, saying they brought their daughter as to watch him perform when she was a teenager.
CBS said it interviewed Kelly for 80 minutes. More of the interview is expected to air Thursday,
In an excerpt that aired Tuesday night, Kelly told King that allegations of him having sex with and abusing underage girls were “not true,” calling the claims “rumours.” When King asked Kelly if he has held women against their will, he replied: “That’s stupid!”
The Associated Press