While R. Kelly has always denied, typically via attorneys and reps, the allegations made against him (ranging from sex with underage girls to claims that he is holding women in his house and abusing them), he had yet to publicly tell his side of the story. On CBS This Morning on Wednesday, Gayle King gave him (and later his girlfriends) that chance, and what resulted was a long-winded interview filled with tears, outbursts, and, most of all, denials of the accusations that have been made against the 52-year-old.
While these accusations have been building for the past 20 years now, R. Kelly is back in a legal tangle after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. This news includes a new video that purports to show the singer having sex with an allegedly underage girl, and appears to be giving survivors and prosecutors a second chance at justice after Kelly was found not guilty of similar charges in 2008.
Thanks to Surviving R. Kelly, the bombshell Lifetime documentary that included accounts from survivors and peers, the women in this situation have finally been given a platform to tell their stories. So, what does R. Kelly have to say about all the disturbing allegations against him? A lot... let's break down what he told CBS's Gayle King below.
R. Kelly says he's never broken any laws with women.
“Lots of things wrong when it comes to women that I apologize, but I apologized in those relationships at the time that I was in the relationship, OK?” he told the host.
Later, when asked about the age different in some of his relationships, Kelly replied, "I don't look at 'much younger than me' I just look at 'legal.'"
Have you done anything you regret, have you done anything wrong? -- @GayleKing— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
“Lots of things wrong when it comes to women that I apologize, but I apologized in those relationships at the time that I was in the relationship, OK?” -- @RKellyhttps://t.co/u4AENVsfAE pic.twitter.com/4GgwQ6y65k
R Kelly denies the sex tapes that allegedly show him having sex with underage women.
Attorney Michael Avenetti gave a press conference last month and claimed that there is a new tape depicting Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl. King asked Kelly point-blank if he had ever had sex with anyone under the age of 17, and he denied it.
"No. No," he said.
In the middle of the interview, he had an outburst.
In a moment that will likely go down in history, King remained calm as Kelly had a brief outburst during the interview, standing up and yelling at the camera, becoming extremely emotional.
“Stop it. You all quit playing! Quit playing!" he said, beginning to pace and point at the camera. "I didn't do this stuff! This is not me! I'm fighting for my fucking life! Y'all killing me with this shit! I gave you 30 years of my fucking career!"
When he calmed down, he said the help he needs is someone to help him not "have a big heart." King then accused him of playing the victim.
“Stop it. You all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn't do this stuff! This is not me! I'm fighting for my f***ing life! Y'all killing me with this sh*t!" @RKelly told @GayleKing, standing up. "I gave you 30 years of my f***ing career!"https://t.co/u4AENVJQsc pic.twitter.com/jLF7l8etYh— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
He says the two women currently living at his house are his girlfriends — and are not brainwashed.
The parents of 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary believe their daughters have been brainwashed, but Kelly says he loves them and "it's like they're my girlfriends. We have a relationship."
WATCH: R. Kelly addressed his current relationship with the two young women who live with him at his home in Chicago, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary. Their parents believe Kelly has brainwashed their daughters.https://t.co/pPZcw2pbmc pic.twitter.com/IbH3PjbSVx— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
He wants to fix his relationship with his children.
Kelly is speaking up now because of his fractured relationship with his family — his 21-year-old daughter Buku Abi told Good Morning Britain that she had no plans to reconcile with her father, saying, “my phone ring is going to just keep ringing...it’s a no from me."
Kelly told King, "I'm really not really fighting for my career here. I'm fighting for my rights and I'm fighting to have a relationship with my kids most of all, more than anything."
Do you still expect people to buy your music?— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
“Absolutely. I think they should... I'm really not really fighting for my career here. I'm fighting for my rights & I'm fighting to have a relationship with my kids most of all, more than anything.” -@RKelly https://t.co/o5wfERQxnZ pic.twitter.com/gABTkh97PN
He's considering therapy.
"When you say that you need help, do you think you need to go to therapy?" King asked. "Have you been to therapy?"
"Absolutely," he replied. "At this point, I'm definitely talking about that."
When you say that you need help, do you think you need to go to therapy? Have you been to therapy? -- @GayleKing— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
“Absolutely. At this point, I'm definitely talking about that.” -- @RKelly
“Oh, absolutely.” https://t.co/o5wfERQxnZ pic.twitter.com/zFg0h0FHcn
R. Kelly blames his ex-wife for his financial issues.
Kelly was previously unable to make bail and has since been arrested for money owed in child support — something that provoked another outburst from the singer.
“How can I pay child support? How?! If my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can’t work!" he said in the interview. "How can I work?! How can I get paid?! How can I take care of my kids?! HOW?! Use your common sense!”
When King pointed out that Kelly's ex-wife claims he abused her, he said that was a lie.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).