R. Kelly furiously denied the allegations of physical and sexual abuse he is facing in an interview with CBS This Morning, saying the women who have accused him are lying and social media is one of the chief reasons so many people have stepped forward.
Kelly, who became hysterical at one point in the interview, implied that a thirst for fame might be the motive behind some of the accusations.
“You can start a rumor on a guy like me … all you have to do is push a button your phone and say “R Kelly did this to me’,” he told Gayle King. “If you get any traction from that, if you’re able to write a book from that, if you’re able to get a reality show, then any girl I had in the past where it didn’t work out, she can come say the same thing. … I’m talking about the power of social media.”
Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four victims, three of whom were underage when the suspected crimes happened. Kelly has pleaded not guilty. In the interview, he said he had “absolutely not” broken any laws when it came to women and has never had sex with anyone under the age of 17.
The accusations follow a six-part Lifetime series where several past associates accused him of preying on young girls and women and a 2008 trial where he was found not guilty on 14 counts of child pornography.
The professional backlash has been extreme and instant. Sony has ended its working relationship with Kelly and Spotify has dropped him from their playlists, as have Apple and Pandora.
“Forget the blogs,” Kelly said. “Forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to. Love me if you want to. But just use your common sense. How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I’ve been through [to think] oh, right now I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will. and chain them up in my basement and don’t let them eat and don’t let them out unless they need some shoes down the street from their uncle. I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. I’m fighting for my f—ing life.”
At this point, Kelly became emotional and stood up from his chair, making a fist and hitting his palm, beating his chest and shouting directly to the CBS cameras.
“Thirty years of my career,” he shouted tearfully. “And y’all trying to kill me. You killing me, man. This is not about music. I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids. And I can’t do it. Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth. You don’t want to believe it.”
His publicist eventually had to step in to calm him down.
When King pointed out that he seemed to be playing the role of the victim, he brushed that off, then said “I need somebody to help me not have a big heart. People keep betraying me and I keep forgiving them.”