‘It’s not fair’: R Kelly tearfully denies sex abuse allegations in tense interview

Singer freed on bail after being charged with aggravated sexual abuse against four victims

Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly denies sexual abuse charges against him and broke into tears while saying he was fighting for his life, according to interview excerpts released by CBS television. Video: CBS/Reuters

 

The allegations that he has sexually, emotionally, and physically abused women and girls for decades are “stupid”, “not true”, and “not fair”, singer R Kelly said in clips from an emotional new interview with CBS News’ Gayle King.

“I didn’t do this stuff, this is not me, I’m fighting for my f*cking life,” the singer said, his voice cracking, apparently on the edge of tears.

The CBS This Morning interview comes less than two weeks after Kelly was released on $100,000 (€88,492) bail after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four victims, three of whom were between the ages of 13 and 17 when their alleged attacks took place. The alleged incidents date back as far as May 1998.

Prosecutors allege that Kelly met one of the underaged victims at a restaurant where she was celebrating her sixteenth birthday party, and that he met another victim when she got his autograph after attending his trial for child pornography in Chicago in 2008. He was acquitted in that case.

The criminal charges in Illinois followed increasing scrutiny and protests over allegations of Kelly’s abuse of young girls and women, including parents who publicly accused Kelly of holding women against their will in what was described as an abusive and controlling “cult”, and a new documentary, Surviving R Kelly, in which women who said they had been victimised by the singer shared their stories.

In Tuesday’s tense interview, Kelly at times suggested the allegations against him were absurd, appealing to viewer’s “common sense”, and at other times said it was unfair to constantly return to his history. He emphasised that he had been acquitted in one case already.

“I beat my case,” he said. “When you beat something - we can’t double jeopardy me like that, it’s not fair, it’s not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.”

Asked about the many accounts of abuse separate from that one case, Kelly called them “not true”.

“You have never held anybody against their will?” King asked.

“I don’t need to. Why would I?” Kelly said, echoing his lawyer’s previous argument that “he is a rock star. He doesn’t have to have non-consensual sex.”

“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 said. “Use your common sense.” – Guardian