Singer R. Kelly has dismissed new underage sex abuse allegations against him as nothing more than the product of “old rumors” and suggested people should move on because he already “beat” charges against him in the past.
In an emotional interview with CBS This Morning, the singer angrily denied that he had ever held any women against their will—a claim that has repeatedly been made as more and more women have come forward to accuse the R&B star of abuse spanning decades.
“I don't need to, why would I? How stupid would that be for R. Kelly, after all I've been through in the way, way past to hold somebody... how stupid would I be to do that?” the singer said, before speaking directly to the camera.
“That's stupid guys! Use your common sense!” he exclaimed, pointing to his temples. “How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I've been through.”
“Ya'll quit playin’. Quit playin’. I didn't do this stuff. This is not me. I'm fighting for my fucking life,” he said, beating his chest.
The singer was hit with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse earlier this month. In the indictment, he was accused of abusing four victims between 1998 and 2010—three of them being minors at the time. Lawyer Michael Avenatti also reportedly gave Cook County prosecutors a 45-minute videotape that allegedly showed Kelly performing sex acts with an underage girl, who was described in the video as 14 years old.
CBS host Gayle King addressed the new allegations in the interview, and asked the singer if he could really deny being with underage girls after the number of women that have come forward. The singer refused to talk about previous sexual and emotional abuse lawsuits made against him in the early 2000s.
“But I will tell you this: people are going back to my past, OK? That's exactly what they're doing. They're going back to the past, and they trying to add all of this stuff now to that. To make all of this stuff that's going on now feels real to people,” he said.
“But the past is relevant with you with underage girls?” King countered.
“Absolutely, no it's not," Kelly said. "Because for one, I beat my case. When you beat something, you beat it.”
“You can't double-jeopardy me like that,” the singer continued, referencing a 2008 child pormography case in which he was acquitted. “You can't. It's not fair. It's not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.”
King told the singer that she wasn’t talking about the child pornography case, but claims by women who accused him of having sex with them as minors and abusing them “emotionally and physically and verbally.” “This is what they're saying about you,” she said.
“Not true,” Kelly stated.
“These aren't old rumors," King responded.
“Not true,” the singer maintained. “Whether they're old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true.”
New accusations have come to light after a 2017 BuzzFeed report outlined the singer’s influence on young girls, with some of the alleged survivors’ families describing their daughters’ experiences as “a cult.” A Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly, interviewed several of the alleged victims—with some of them discussing the alleged sex acts that happened. Kelly’s first court date is scheduled for March 8. The full CBS interview with Kelly is set to air the same day.