R. Kelly Fiercely Denies Sexual-Abuse Allegations in Heated Interview (Watch)


UPDATED: R. Kelly, who is charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims - three of whom were minors - aggressively denied any wrongdoing in an emotional interview with Gayle King on "CBS This Morning."

At times the singer - who, as detailed in the recent docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly," has multiple accusations of sexual misconduct dating back 25 years - wept, yelled, stood up and violently waved his arms. Asked by King if, as some have alleged, whether he is holding women captive against their will, he addressed the camera directly and shouted:

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"That's stupid! Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to, love me if you want. But just use your common sense. How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I've been through - oh right now I just think I need to be monster, hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don't let them eat, don't let them out, unless they need some shoes down the street from their uncle!"

At another point, he said, "I'm a man. I make mistakes, but I'm not a devil, and by no means am I a monster." And at another: "I've been assassinated; I've been buried alive. But I'm alive."

At times Kelly, who was dressed in a somber grey suit, became so heated and animated that King's co-hosts said after watching the interview that they were concerned for her safety. "I felt I might get accidentally clobbered," King said, "but I never felt in danger."

(CBS provided to the media additional segments that did not air on the show Wednesday.)

Asked about his proclivity for younger women, Kelly, 52, said, "I don't look at much younger than me. I just look at legal. I just look at you're you, I'm me. Now, I don't know if you're married. I don't know. I don't know if you have a relationship. But one might be older than the other. One might be younger than the other, okay? So I just look at legal, okay? There are older men that like younger women…there are younger women that like older men."

"I'm going to name the names," King says at another point. "Andrea Kelly, your ex-wife. Kitti Jones, Lisa Van Allen, Lizette Martinez, Jurong DePace, Faith Rodgers, Asante McGee. You're saying everything they said in that documentary about you is not true?"

"They are lying on me," Kelly said.

"Why would these women say the same thing about you? That you are controlling, that you are abusive, that you tell women when to eat, when to go to the bathroom, when they can sleep, where they can dress?" King asks. "Why would all these women tell these different stories about you if they were not true and they don't know each other? That defies logic to me."

"Right, right, until you hear the explanation," Kelly replies. "You can start a rumor on a guy like me or a celebrity just like that. All you have to do is push a button on your phone and say so-and-so did this to me, R. Kelly did this to me, and if you get any traction from that, if you're able to write a book from that, if you're able to get a reality show… then any girl that I had a relationship in the past that it just didn't work out, she can come and say the same exact thing."

After the segment in which he shouts at the camera, Kelly takes a brief break and then continues.

"It's real girls out there missing! There's real young girls out there being abducted, being raped, OK?" Kelly said. "They really are on chains. They really do have chains on their - on their wrists, and they can't get out, and they end up buried and dead."

"I don't want you just ranting at the camera," King said.

"I came here for them to hear me talk. I need help!" Kelly said.

"What kind of help?"

"This is the kind of help I need. I need somebody to help me not have a big heart, because my heart is so big. People betray me, and I keep forgiving them!" Kelly said.

"You sound like you're playing the victim here. You sound like, R. Kelly - you do. I listen to you, and it does sound like you're playing the victim card," King said.

"I'm just telling the truth. I'm just telling the truth," Kelly said. "And the reason I'm emotional - and I apologize for that -"

"No, no, no," King said.

"It's because this is the first time I was able to say something," Kelly said. "I've said nothing!"

Other excerpts from the 80-minute interview were released online Tuesday night; another segment will air on Thursday, and on Friday the show sits down with two of the women alleged to be held against their will - in a brief excerpt, one of them is seen weeping and saying, "You guys don't know the truth, this is all lies for money and if you can't see that you're stupid." The women, one of whom is Joycelyn Savage, whose parents have made strong allegations agains Kelly, said they both live with the singer in a sexual relationship.

In previously unaired footage on Wednesday morning, King engaged in an at times heated exchange with the singer (lightly edited below).

King: Have you ever had sex with anyone under the age of 17?

Kelly: No.

King: So all of these women are lying?

Kelly: Absolutely.

King: Do you think people should still buy your music?

Kelly: Absolutely, I think they should, although (he nods, equivocating) a lot of them may not. I'm not really fighting for my career here - I'm fighting for my rights and I'm fighting to have a relationship with my kids, more than anything because I missed a lot of years of their life. They love me, I love them," he welled up.

Kelly is estranged from his three children from his 10-year marriage to Drea Kelly, who is among the accusers featured in "Surviving R. Kelly."

King: Do they want a relationship with you?

Kelly: I bet you they do. I bet my breath one it. [But] they're pressured [not to see him], and I get it.

King: What would you do if someone did to your daughters what people say you've done to young women?

Kelly: I'd be up in that motherf --, f-ing everything up - I had to bleep myself there. I would have to arrest myself after I did what I had to do.

King: You've said many times that you were sexually abused from the ages of 7 to 14. How has that affected you?

Kelly: It hasn't affected me at all [he immediately reverses himself], it has affected me in this way: anything I've been through or struggles I've had in the past has affected my music.

King: It hasn't affected your behavior?

Kelly: Absolutely not. I know people will say 'He was abused, that's why he doing that,' but no no no no no.

King: Experts say that abusers were often abused themselves.

Kelly: That's what the experts said? They said they all did it?

King: No, not all, but a lot do.

Kelly: No? here I stand, I'm in the "not all" [category]. But they also didn't say when you're R. Kelly and you're famous and your named is ringing 25 million times across the world every day and people are trying to get money from you, they're using the past to link it onto that, they're using that…

King: You've said you need help in some form of therapy?

Kelly: Absolutely, at this point I'm definitely talking about that.

King: People have said you're out of touch with the seriousness of the allegations against you.

Kelly: I have the truth. People have perception.

King: Do you think you're invincible?

Kelly: Absolutely not, I just think I'm human.



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