R. Kelly speaks up to deny sex abuse charges
Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly on Tuesday denied sexual abuse charges against him and broke into tears while saying he was fighting for his life, according to interview excerpts released by the CBS television network.
The 52-year-old pleaded not guilty last month to charges that he sexually assaulted three teenage girls and a woman in alleged incidents dating back to 1998.
In his first interview since the indictment, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King asked Kelly about allegations that he had sex with women under 18 and that he was physically and verbally abusive. "Not true," he responded in a clip.
King, who spoke to Kelly in his hometown of Chicago, then asked if he had held anyone against their will. A report by BuzzFeed in 2017 claimed he had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta. "I don't need to. Why would I?" he said.
He grew angry and emotional as the interview went on, turning to make his argument directly to the camera.
"Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me," he said. "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."
Pounding his chest for emphasis, Kelly shouted: "I didn't do this stuff!" His voice cracked and he broke into tears, saying: "This is not me! I'm fighting for my ****ing life!" - REUTERS