CBS This Morning host Gayle King delivered another explosive interview on Thursday morning. This time, she sat down with Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, who live with R. Kelly, 52. The young women’s parents describe their daughters as Kelly’s “sex slaves.” The singer describes them as his “live-in girlfriends.”
King seemed slightly awkward as she pressed the two women about the nature of their relationship with the fallen star.
“How do we say this without being inappropriate?” asked King. “Is this a three-way relationship, or do you each have a separate relationship with him? How does this work? I’m curious.”
Clary sought to explain first. “Well, both of those. We both have our individual relationships with him, and we all are family all together,” she said. “We have our moments where we sit and watch movies all together, we go to amusement parks all together.”
King then asked the question that most people find the most curious. “I’m not talking about, Azriel, going to movies and sitting, watching—going to parks,” the host said. “I’m talking about is it—is it a three-way sexual relationship between the three of you?”
“Sexually, well, first of all, I’m not here to talk about my personal life,” Clary said. “And I would never share with no one what I do in or outside of the bedroom. And as a woman, I’m sure you would not either.”
“No,” King said. “I wouldn’t but I...”
“OK, then,” Clary said. “So next question.”
At one point, Clary broke down into uncontrollable tears. King asked her why she was crying. “I’m crying because you guys don’t know the truth,” she said, as Savage rubbed her back.
“You guys are believing in some fucking facade that our parents are saying. This is all fucking lies for money. And if you can’t see that, you’re ignorant and you’re stupid.”
Multiple times throughout the televised interview, both women accused their parents of pushing them toward the singer. “When I was 17, my parents were actually making me, trying to get me to take photos with him, take sexual videos with him, all kinds of stuff,” Clary said.
King tried to clarify the accusation. “Wait, wait, wait. Your parents encouraged you to do sexual videos with R. Kelly?” she asked.
“Yes, and they said, because if they ever have to blackmail him, what they’re trying to do now, they can use it against him,” she said. “Which is exactly what they’re doing.”
Throughout the interview, during which Kelly was reportedly sitting in the background, both women said their parents were only after Kelly’s money. The women accompanied the singer to court when he pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse last month. He is accused of abusing four women, three of whom were between 13 and 16 at the time.
Clary told King that when she first met Kelly, her parents told her to lie about her age. “So when I met him, he thought that I was 18,” she said. “My parents told me to lie about my age.” She went on to explain that they “even told the police” that she was 18, without explaining exactly why the police wanted to know how old she was.
In the interview with Kelly that aired Wednesday, King asked the singer about the women. “You’re with two women right now. You love them, they say they love you,” he said. “What kind of love is it that keeps these young women away from their families?”
The singer replied. “I’m going to answer your question,” he said. “What kind of father, what kind of mother, will sell their daughter to a man?”
The young women seem to agree–or at least appear coached to know what to say. “Our parents are basically out here just to get money,” Savage explained, to which King noted that both of the women are “saying the same” thing.
“Well, both our parents, both our parents are basically out here trying to get money and scam,” Savage said. “Because they didn’t agree on what happened, you know with music or whatever it could be. And they’re just very upset.”
Savage’s parents gave an emotional press conference in Decatur, Georgia, after Kelly’s combative interview with King, clearly worried for their daughter’s safety after seeing the singer’s angry reaction on television.
“Joycelyn, we went from seeing you, talking to you weekly, to not seeing you for two years,” said her mother, Jonjelyn Savage. “So that is a clear indication to us, and as a mother, that something is definitely wrong with this situation.”
Kelly told King that Savage’s father brought the young woman to him. “I didn’t go looking for a Joycelyn Savage,” he said during the 80-minute interview. “I was doing my show… he brought her and asked a friend of mine to put her on the stage with R. Kelly, make sure she’s on the stage.”
The Savages deny the accusation. “That is absolutely not true," Savage’s attorney Gerald Griggs said during the family press conference after the CBS interview aired. “At no point has Mr. Kelly ever met Mr. Timothy Savage.”
An hour later, Savage called her parents. “I’ve told you guys a million, million times that I’m OK where I’m happy,” Savage told her mother on speaker phone with CBS cameras rolling.
During the interview, King asked Kelly if he had sex with Clary, who he met when she was just 17.
“Absolutely not. Absolutely not,” Kelly said. “Although, her parents wanted me to.”
Clary’s parents also commented after the interview, issuing a statement through their lawyer Michael Avenatti, who previously represented Stormy Daniels, telling CBS News that they had never received money from R. Kelly, “nor did they sell their daughter to R. Kelly or anyone else for that matter.”
“R. Kelly is a desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls who should die in prison,” the statement says. “All of the victims and parents cannot be lying.”
CBS This Morning also released new footage from the original interview that aired Wednesday in which King asked Kelly why his finances were so dire. “So many people have been stealin’ my money. People was connected to my account,” he said. “I went into—I went by myself for the first time to a Bank of America. Didn’t know what I was doing. Didn’t know what the hell was going on.”
That was before he was put in jail for not paying his ex-wife some $160,000 in late child support.
“How can I pay child support? How?! If my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can’t work? How can I work? How can I get paid? How can I take care of my kids? How?” he said, again bursting into tears.
His ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, claims the star abused her. He denies those allegations. “Thirteen years being married… I flew in on a helicopter. I flew in on a helicopter,” he said. “I believe I’m telling y’all. I’m telling y’all. I flew in on a helicopter with a damn puppy. And I proposed to Drea who I was in love with and told her, ‘Hey, look, I make mistakes. I’m not perfect.’… We got married. OK. We had three beautiful kids… Not once have I ever had a domestic-violence call at the house and all this that and the other. It never happened. OK.”
Kelly was taken into custody Wednesday on negligent child-support charges. He will be remanded in custody until he pays more than $160,000 in maintenance to his ex-wife for support for their three children.