R Kelly Breaks Down In First Interview Since Arrest

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R. Kelly, the singer who stands accused of 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, pleads his innocence in his first interview.

The singer – whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly – cried as he discussed the recent allegations against him and plead for people to believe he’s innocent.

During the interview with Gayle King, which took place on Tuesday, March 6, he was seen shouting, ‘I’m fighting for my fucking life!’

King has shared stills from the interview tapes, which show Kelly’s emotional pleas. One image depicts him standing up and gesturing off camera.

A documentary titled Surviving R. Kelly, a six-part Lifetime programme detailing sexual abuse allegations against Kelly, was released in January.

In his first interview since its release – and his subsequent arrest – Kelly insisted the allegations were simply ‘rumours’ and are ‘not true’.

When King, who kept her compose in the face of Kelly’s emotion, asked if he’d ever held anyone against their will, he returned to his lawyer’s old argument, he didn’t need to because he’s a ‘rockstar’.

Kelly said:

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? Use your common sense.

The allegations he has sexually, emotionally, and physically abused women and girls for decades – three of whom were between the ages of 13 and 17 when their alleged attacks took place – are ‘stupid’ and ‘not fair’.

The claims against him date back as far as May 1998, and include allegations from parents of victims who’ve publicly accused Kelly of holding women against their will in what was described as an abusive and controlling ‘cult’.

He emphasized he had been acquitted in one case already.

Kelly was taken into custody February 22 in Chicago, and spent several days behind bars before coming up with his $100,000 bail. He says he is innocent of all charges.

You can watch the trailer for the Lifetime documentary below:

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.

Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on its website or on its helpline – 0808 800 5005.


Francesca Donovan

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.