Billboard News 3/8/19
R. Kelly broke his silence this week, sitting down for an explosive interview with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King for more than an hour and vehemently defending himself against all accusations of sexually abusing minors. Kelly — who is facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and whose extended CBS interview aired Friday night (March 8) in prime time — is now back in Chicago’s Cook County Jail after failing to cough up more than $161,000 in child support owed to ex-wife Andrea Lee.
Clips from Kelly’s chat released Tuesday found the embattled R&B star on the verge of a complete meltdown, which were quickly turned to memes once in the hands of social media. “I didn’t do this stuff,” he insisted, even beating his chest. “This is not me. I’m fighting for my f—ing life! Y’all killing me with this sh–. I gave y’all 30 years of my career!
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told Billboard that having his client speak publicly “wasn’t a ‘legal’ strategy, it was a life strategy.” Both of the 52-year-old’s girlfriends also sat down with King, with Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, defending the “Ignition” singer and accusing their parents, who participated in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, of attempting to extort and blackmail Kelly.
1. Kelly Guarantees He’s Going to Beat His Case.
After being acquitted of child pornography charges back in 2008, R. Kelly has an irrational confidence that the world will see the same result with the charges of sexual abuse hanging over his head a decade later. “I guarantee you I’m going to come out of this like I did before,” Kelly told King. Kelly refused to address the videos that have reportedly been turned over to authorities as potential evidence. “When you beat your case, you beat your case,” he concludes.
2. Kelly Says He’d Have to Arrest Himself If the Allegations Levied Against Him Happened to His Own Daughter.
With graphic allegations that would make any parent cringe, King turned the situation around and had Kelly imagine himself potentially in the shoes of the victims’ parents. “I’mma be up in that motherfucker,” he angrily stated. “Fucking everything up. I’d have to arrest myself.” Kelly continued to deny that he was holding any of the women living with him against their will.
The 52-year-old went on to blame the parents for “selling” their daughters off to him. “What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?” he questioned. “So you’re saying the parents handed their daughters, Azriel and Joycelyn, to you?” King followed up. “Absolutely,” Kelly alleged.
The Grammy-winning singer repeatedly spoke about wanting to have a relationship with his kids, but his lack of child-support payments found him back in jail after being originally released last weekend on bail for $100,000, which was paid for by “a friend of a friend.”
3. For Kelly, the “M” in McDonald’s Stands for “Mom.”
King scolded Kelly for going to the Chicago McDonald’s, where he’s allegedly preyed on underage girls for decades, for his first meal after his release from jail on Feb. 25. “Have you ever been to jail, Gayle?” he asks. “My favorite restaurant is McDonald’s because I love my mom, and I got memories of me and my mom when we used to go to McDonald’s and we could only afford a danish and a coffee,” Kelly reminisced. “That ‘M’ stands for ‘mom.'”
4. Kelly Claims Not to Be a Controlling Person.
More than 50 individuals came forward to share horrifying testimonies of alleged abuse at the hands of R. Kelly throughout various times in his career for Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries. One thing consistent in just about every case was the R&B artist being a master manipulator who mentally breaks down vulnerable targets. Some confessed that they would have to get permission from Kelly just to do basic things such as shower, eat food or go to the bathroom. “I’m not a controlling person; I’m just in control of my household,” the Chicago native explains when confronted about his reported issues with controlling people. “I consider myself the king of the castle.”
5. Kelly Is Considering Therapy.
Throughout the conversation, Kelly admits that he hasn’t been perfect as a man, and that includes regretting some of the decisions he’s made that have deeply impacted the women in his life. The singer’s manager, Don Russell, spoke to reporters outside the Cook County Jail upon the singer’s release to clear Kelly of any wrongdoing with the law. “He should be in the room with a psychiatrist, not police. You know how the industry is: If you like women, they’re going to put that in front of you,” Russell said.
When King asks if Robert has ever considered going to therapy during their interview, Kelly responded with a resounding “absolutely.” He quickly follows up, “I’m definitely talking about going [to therapy].”