Kelly, who is awaiting a March 22 court date, told King he agreed to the interview because he’s “tired of all the lies…that little girls trapped in the basement…handcuffing people, starving people, that I have a cult. I don’t know what a cult is, but I don’t have one!”
CBS gave viewers a first look on Tuesday night’s CBS Evening News and promised much more where that came from on Wednesday’s morning show. After co-host Norah O’Donnell kicked things off, saying “everyone has switched their channels” to see more of the unhinged interview, King set the stage for the three long segments that followed across the morning show.
In Wednesday’s first segment, the singer erupted and began to scream at the camera while looming over King. So much so, she said, Oprah phoned to make sure she was okay. Kelly “needs help,” King told fellow CBS This Morning co-hosts, saying of her interview, “in some ways we were seeing a breakdown right before our eyes.”
In the outburst shown to viewers, Kelly grew increasingly agitated and began to scream, “I have been assassinated, buried alive! But I’m alive” at one of the cameras in his Chicago apartment where the interview took place.
“How stupid would I be to do that… is this camera on me? That’s stupid! Use your common sense!” he continued.
“I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me! I’m fighting for my f*cking life! You’re all trying to kill me!”
When King advised she did not want him to just rant at the camera, he told her, “I need help.”
She wondered what kind of help.
“I need somebody to help me not have a big heart,” he responded. “Because my heart is so big, people betray me and I keep forgiving them.”
Kelly currently lives with two women in their 20s. King reported their parents say he has brainwashed their daughters. He told King he loves them and “it’s like they’re my girlfriends…we have a relationship and it’s real.”
He added he’s known guys “who have five or six women.”
“I don’t look at ‘much younger than me’. I just look at ‘legal’,” he explained.
King explained Kelly says the girls’ parents are out for his money. She described the situation as a “hot mess on all sides.”
In the interview, King said John Legend has called Kelly a serial rapist, and Lady Gaga has apologized for working with him, while Spotify has pulled his music off of its playlist. She wondered how that sits with him.
He called Lady Gaga “a very great talent and all,” but said “it’s unfortunate that her intelligence go to such a short level when it comes to that” and said it was “not professional for them to do that. Because something like this can happen to any artist. Anybody famous.”
Rumors about R. Kelly and underage girls have swirled since the 1990s. The indictment and renewed interest in the accusations comes after Lifetime aired the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, to strong ratings in January, and a claim by Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti that he had uncovered a video showing Kelly involved in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl.
“If you really look at that documentary… everybody said something bad about me. Nobody said nothing good,” Kelly told King in the Wednesday segment.
“They were describing Lucifer. … I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man; I make mistakes. But I’m not a devil and by no means am I a monster.”
King said the idea that so many women, who do not know each other, making nearly the same claims about the singer “defies logic.”
Kelly pushed back, saying the information is easily obtained on social media.
Kelly has denied all the allegations against him since the start. He faced child pornography charges in 2008 over a sex tape but was acquitted after he denied being the man in the video.
The new charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involves four girls, all of whom were underage at the time of the alleged incidents. Four counts involving Victim 1, ranging from May 1998 to May 1999; two counts involving Victim 2 between September 1998 and September 2001; one count involving Victim 3 in February 2003; and three counts involving Victim 4 from May 2009 to January 2010.
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