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R. Kelly

"I’m Fighting For My Fucking Life:” R. Kelly Screamed and Cried During First Interview Since Sex Abuse Charges

Kelly’s publicist eventually had to come in to calm him down.

by Emma Ockerman
06 March 2019, 8:00pm

This article originally appeared on VICE News US.

In his first interview since facing multiple criminal sex abuse charges involving underage girls, R&B superstar R. Kelly cried, screamed, and jumped up from his seat to yell at the host interviewing him.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. I’m fighting for my fucking life. Ya’ll killin’ me with this shit,” Kelly said, breaking down in tears. He then stood up and started yelling at CBS host Gayle King, who sat there silently.

Kelly’s publicist eventually had to come in to calm him down.

During the interview, which aired Wednesday morning, the 52-year-old musician repeatedly denied various allegations against, including that he kept teenage girls in a "sex cult” at his home and abused them. Separately, 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse were filed against Kelly last month, nine of which stem from allegations made by three victims under the age of 17 at the time of their encounters with him.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts, and he’s currently out on bail.

Kelly’s emotional outburst appeared to start when King asked him if he had ever held anybody captive, as parents of young girls alleged in an explosive BuzzFeed report in July 2017.

Kelly responded: “I don’t need to. Why would I?” It’s not clear, however, if those allegations are part of the charges he’s currently facing.


“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?” Kelly said, likely referring to the child pornography charges for which he was previously indicted and later acquitted of in 2008.

“That’s stupid, guys. Is this camera on me? That’s stupid!” Kelly said, pointing at the camera. At another point during the interview, Kelly also emphasized that he “beat” those previous charges.

At one point in the interview, Kelly implied that the parents of Jocelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21 — two women who appear to live with him — “sold” them to him. Their parents have alleged that their daughters have been brainwashed, which led them to inappropriate relationships and living arrangements with Kelly. Savage, however, has denied being brainwashed, and both women appeared at his bond hearing last month.

King has also interviewed Clary and Savage, according to CBS, and those interviews will air Friday morning.

“What kind of love is it that keeps these young women away from their families?” King asked Kelly.

“What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?” Kelly said.

The CBS sit-down was also Kelly’s first television interview since the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” aired in January and renewed outrage about the decades of allegations against him. Days later, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx pleaded Kelly’s for victims to come forward.

Since then, two other women — unrelated to the ongoing case in Chicago — have come forward with allegations that Kelly acted inappropriately with them when they were teenagers at a party in 1996.

Cover image: R. Kelly surrenders to authorities at Chicago First District police station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. (Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)