R Kelly has broken his silence in a new interview with Gayle King for CBS This Morning. The embattled R&B singer was charged last month in Chicago on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse relating to misconduct with four women, three of whom were underage at the time of their alleged assaults.
Update – March 6th: The full interview has aired and you can watch it here.
In excerpts of the interview released ahead of tomorrow morning’s airing, Kelly vehemently denies the allegations made against him and says the current charges amount to double jeopardy.
In the first clip, King asks Kelly whether he’s been with underage girls. Kelly responds by alluding “to two case back then” that he cannot discuss due to “my ongoing case now.”
“But I will tell you this,” he continues, “people are going back to my past, OK? That’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re going back to the past, and they 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.”
Kelly goes on to reference his 2008 acquittal on child pornography charges: “I beat my case. When you beat something, you beat it… 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.”
King counters Kelly by noting that many of the allegations are brand new. “Not true,” Kelly responds. “Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true.”
In a second excerpt, King asks Kelly whether he’s ever held women against their will. “I don’t need to. Why would I?” he retorts. “How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all I’ve been through in my way, way past, to hold somebody, let alone 4, 5, 6, 50, you said – how stupid would I be to do that?”
Kelly, now visibly upset, proceeds to look into the camera and say: “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 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!”
“Stop it,” Kelly continues. “You don’t quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f*cking life!
Watch the excerpts. The full interview will air on Wednesday morning beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST.
King also sat down with two young women currently living with Kelly, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, whose parents say they are being held against their will. Those interviews will air Friday, March 8th.
Last week, Kelly pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charges filed against him in Chicago. If convicted, he could face between 40-70 years in prison. He’s currently out on bail after a female fan put up $100,000 of her own money.
Kelly was previously charged with child pornography in 2002, but was later acquitted by a jury. In the years since then, the singer has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse, engaging in sexual relationships with underage women, falsely imprisoning women for the purpose of sex, and knowingly transmitting sexual diseases. The airing of the Lifetime’s docu-series Surviving R Kelly, brought renewed interest in the allegations, and led to the launching of several criminal investigations.
In addition to the case in Chicago, Kelly is the subject of a criminal investigation in Georgia over claims of assault and imprisonment. Additionally, a second grand jury has been assembled in the Southern District of New York, based on federal investigations by the F.B.I. and the I.R.S., according to The New Yorker, and a third grand jury could soon be convened by the Department of Homeland Security over allegations of sex trafficking.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, is confident his client will be cleared of all charges. “He’s a rock star, he doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex,” Greenberg recently told reporters.