CBS This Morning has aired an interview with R. Kelly — where he sat down with Gayle King to tell his side of the story.
When King asked Kelly why he wanted to talk to her, he claimed that everything he had read about himself was false.
He denied having girls locked up in his house and in his basement, and denied running a cult with the women he’s accused of keeping locked up on his various properties in Chicago, Illinois.
The full interview was 80 minutes long, but the version aired on CBS this morning was edited down:
When Gayle King asks R. Kelly if he has made mistakes with women, he admits that he has. But he also adds that he has apologized to the women in those relationships. When she asks him if he had broken any laws with women, he whispers, “absolutely not.”
In early January, a documentary called Surviving R. Kelly was released. Over 50 interviews were done with women, celebrities, and former managers, who all revealed they had seen or experienced inappropriate behavior. When asked about the documentary and whether those people were lying, R. Kelly told King that they were all saying something bad about him.
When King changes the question slightly, R. Kelly tells her that all of the women are lying about him. He also points to social media and people starting rumors about him, arguing that a single woman could be unhappy with a relationship ending and start a rumor on social media.
R. Kelly has been charged with aggravated criminal abuse towards four women, including three who were minors at the time of the alleged crime. These recent charges cause King to ask him straightforward if he has ever had sex with a minor, to which he firmly says no. She continues to ask him if that’s the case, and when she tells him that his claims are hard to believe, he starts to get aggressive.
When King asks him again if they are lying, he repeats the word “absolutely” and appears frustrated, emotional, and angry.
When she starts to ask him about the women he’s reportedly holding hostage, R. Kelly argues that this would be the stupidest move given his past. He starts to get frustrated, yelling at the camera. He also asks the viewers to use their common sense to make up their minds about him, and about the rumors that he’s reportedly keeping women captive.
That’s when R. Kelly loses it. He gets emotional, getting out of his chair, saying that blogs and rumors are killing him. He starts crying and yelling, saying he’s dealt with these negative stories for years.
During his emotional breakdown, R. Kelly tells viewers that he’s trying to have a relationship with his kids, but he’s unable to given how everything is playing out. His publicist steps into the frame, and tries to calm him down. King and the crew then take a break to calm him down.
King shared the moment where Kelly stands up on her Instagram.
After he calms down and sits with King once again, he tells her that he needs help. He needs someone to help him not have a big heart, as he feels he has helped many people and he keeps forgiving people who keep betraying him.
That’s when Gayle King tells him that she feels he’s playing the victim card, something he denies.
A second part of the interview saw King ask him about the two girls reportedly staying with him. The girls, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage, and 21-year-old Azriel Clary were part of the story told in Surviving Kelly, where their parents shared their stories about Kelly allegedly keeping the girls away from them.
The parents believe that R. Kelly has brainwashed them, but Kelly claims that he loves them. He says they are like his girlfriends and they have a great relationship. When she asks about the age difference, he says that he doesn’t see it as an age difference, but only whether it’s legal.
R. Kelly is very firm that he never had sex with the two women when they were 17 years old, even though her parents claim to have text messages to prove otherwise. R. Kelly also blames the parents, saying that they handed the daughters over to him and simply left. King later explained to her fellow CBS news anchors that Kelly believes the parents are only in it for the money.
The interview also reveals that R. Kelly is currently living in the Trump Tower in Chicago. He has a Christmas tree up, something that stays up all year, in memory of his mother.
R. Kelly’s next court date is scheduled for March 22 in Illinois.