R. Kelly has broken his silence in his first interview since new sexual abuse charges have been brought against him in Chicago. In an exclusive discussion with Gayle King for CBS This Morning, the singer denied recent allegations, calling them “not true” and he vehemently dismissed them as rumors. The interview with Kelly will air on Wednesday and Thursday morning. King also spoke with Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, two women who are reported to currently reside with Kelly.
At a press conference held in February, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx detailed the latest charges against Kelly: Four charges stem from Kelly’s alleged incidents with an underage girl initialed “H.W.” between May 1998 and May 1999. Two counts were drawn from “R.L.,” who, while underage, allegedly had sexual encounters with Kelly between September 1998 and September 2001. The most recent counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, from May 2009 to January 2010, are “J.P.,” who was also underage. A fourth charge from accuser “L.C.” accused Kelly of “transmission of semen upon any part of the victim’s body for sexual gratification” by “the use of force or threat of force,” stemming from an alleged 2003 incident. The singer has pleaded not guilty on all 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and is currently out on bond. In 2002, he was charged with 21 counts of child pornography, stemming from a sex tape with a girl who was alleged to be underage. He was found not guilty in a contentious trial that transpired six years later.
NEW: R&B singer R. Kelly, charged with aggravated sexual abuse, angrily denied the accusations in a new interview with @GayleKing, insisting the claims are “rumors” & “not true.”
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 5, 2019
In clips from King’s new interview with Kelly, which airs on Wednesday, the singer claimed he could not address the accusations about his alleged propensity for underage girls due to the recent case against him, but he did imply that his past case was impacting current perceptions.
“That’s exactly what they’re doing,” R. Kelly told King. “They’re going back to the past, and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that.” When King pressed him about how the “past is relevant with you with underage girls,” Kelly denied it.
“Absolutely, no it’s not. Because for one, I beat my case,” Kelly said. “When you beat something, you beat it.”
“You were acquitted,” King affirmed in a clip from the interview.
“You can’t double jeopardy me like that,” Kelly said. “You can’t. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.”
King then brought up that the new allegations are separate of the one he was acquitted for and allegedly involve underage girls as well, which Kelly claimed are also “not true.” He also denied holding anybody against their will, while directly addressing the camera and appearing visibly upset. The clip culminates in his continuing to deny the accusations.
“Stop it. You don’t quit playing,” he said through tears. “Quit playing. I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. I’m fighting for my fucking life.”
"Something like this can happen to any artist. Anybody famous. Anybody famous can get accused of so many different things." — @RKelly tells @GayleKing in an exclusive interview airing Wednesday on @CBSThisMorning. https://t.co/Ne5j52qxqh pic.twitter.com/hkp5t0Fndq
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
King’s interviews with Savage and Clary are set to air on Friday morning. Savage’s family claims that Joycelyn is in Kelly’s alleged “sex cult.” In the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, the family revealed that their many attempts to communicate with their daughter were allegedly thwarted by the singer, though Joycelyn has denied she is being held against her will. Her father, Timothy Savage, also alleged that R. Kelly’s former manager James Mason threatened him and police reports also state that Angelo Clary, father of Azriel who is also reportedly living with Kelly, was listening in on the phone call when Mason threatened Joycelyn’s father. Mason turned himself in to authorities and was arrested in January.
“We love our daughter Azriel very much and we miss her,” Alice and Angelo Clary said in a statement following the release of the clips. “Azriel suffered severe mental abuse at the hands of R. Kelly for years. She’s also likely suffering from symptoms similar to those found with Stockholm Syndrome. R. Kelly is a liar, manipulator and sociopath who must be brought to justice for his decades of sexual assaults on underage girls. All these victims and their parents cannot be lying.”