Last month, 52-year-old R&B singer R. Kelly (Robert Sylvester) was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. The indictment followed multiple accusations against Kelly including the discovery of a tape that reportedly showed the singer engaging in sex acts with a minor.
More allegations arose after the release of the revealing documentary series Surviving R. Kelly in which several victims told their stories of abuse, pedophilia, and predatory behavior suffered at the hands of Kelly.
Throughout the coverage of his trial and while undergoing other criminal investigations, R. Kelly has remained silent. That was until he agreed to speak with CBS News on Wednesday morning to tell his side of the story and Twitter wasted no time tearing the artist to shreds.
R. Kelly finally broke his silence Wednesday morning in an explosive interview with CBS News host Gayle King.
“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King sat down with Kelly to offer him a chance to give his account on the multiple charges filed against him. According to CBS News, Chicago prosecutors have charged Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
King began by asking Kelly what “lies” disturb him the most.
“Oh my God. Um — all of them, got little girls trapped in the basement … helicopters over my house trying to rescue someone that doesn’t need rescuing because they’re not in my house,” Kelly replied, adding, “Handcuffing people, starving people. I have a harem, what you call it — a cult. I don’t even really know what a cult is. But I know I don’t haveone.”
The 52-year-old R&B singer spoke with King for nearly 80 minutes about the sexual abuse charges he’s facing and claimed the accusations are all lies.
Three of the four alleged victims weresaid to be minors at the time of the incidents dating back to 1998. In an attempt to defend his character, Kelly repeatedly blamed the parents of alleged victims for supposedly “selling” their daughters to him.
“What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?” Kelly said.
“So you’re saying the parents handed their daughters, Azriel and Jocelyn, to you?” King asked. “Is that what you’re saying?”
Kelly replied, “Absolutely.”
During the interview, Kelly became emotional and started screaming expletives at the cameras while standing up and punching his fist into his hand.
R.Kelly explodes: “I'm fighting for my fucking life! Y'all killing me with this shit! I gave y’all 30 years of my fucking career!"
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 6, 2019
“Stop it. You all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f***ing life! Y’all killing me with this sh*t!” Kelly said, standing up. “I gave you 30 years of my f***ing career!”
Unsurprisingly, people are having strong reactions to the segment.
Abusers like R. Kelly know how to wage emotional warfare. They'll use tears to present themselves as victims, to garner public sympathy and make those they abuse feel responsible for their emotions.
— BlackWomensBlueprint (@BlackWomensBP) March 6, 2019
— Thaumaturgical_1 (@JoanneDriscoll6) March 6, 2019
You married a 15 year old. Sit down. Nobody started a rumor. #rkellyinterview
— Christina Moore (@Cmoore704) March 6, 2019
— LooshusLyin’ (@MackTenn74) March 6, 2019
Gayle King: “We are sitting here with R. Kelly for his first interview since his arre…
R. Kelly: “WHY THE FUCK THEY PICKIN’ ON ME, MAN! I DIDN’T DO SHIT! THEM BITCHES IS LYIN’!”
Gayle: “Ummm…I didn’t even ask you a question yet….”#rkellyinterview
— BLAZE RULZ OK (@OfficialWolfpac) March 6, 2019
While we watch Gayle handle this interview, let’s remember R. Kelly still owes $162,000 in unpaid child support due TODAY.
If he doesn’t pay it, the judge can throw him back in jail. #RKelly
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) March 6, 2019
— Rushun Wiseman (@art_mogul) March 6, 2019
Do watch the interview, but this picture really is worth a thousand words. https://t.co/W2jAOfw2xO
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) March 6, 2019
Kelly: “….hold girls against their will, and chain them up in my basement, and and, don’t let them eat and don’t let them out unless they need shoes down the street from their uncle.”
— KeLanna Spiller (@KeLannaSpiller) March 6, 2019
R Kelly: *crying* “I’m fighting for my fucking life”
— John X (@48john) March 6, 2019
Several viewers commended King for keeping her composure throughout the upsetting interview.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 6, 2019
Gayle King's perfect 'bitch, please' poise & calm while R Kelly has a temper tantrum is my new #bodylanguagegoal
— Very Stable Genius (@Rantaramic) March 6, 2019
Gayle is sitting calmly in the wish a nigga woods. https://t.co/difCij3YYw
— Hey Maid Floydweather (@JediMassaYoda) March 6, 2019
— Elizabeth Cherneff (@echerneff) March 6, 2019
— Skyler Henry (@SkylerHenry) March 6, 2019
— Joce Sterman (@jocefromthenews) March 6, 2019
— Sabrina Anirbas (@step4battle) March 6, 2019
— ↖(^ω^)↗karla ♋ (@sonykr) March 6, 2019
And some noted that R. Kelly’s outbursts were revealing of his true character.
He does this to a well-known woman when cameras are rolling, of course he does worse to powerless black girls behind closed doors.
— Erin (@thevelvetsun) March 6, 2019
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) March 6, 2019
The guilt jumped out.
— Noprah. (@WurrboutYoSelf) March 6, 2019
Why, it's almost as if he's a serial abuser prone to violence or something
— Evan (@evanskaufman) March 6, 2019
There were even a few comparisons drawn between Kelly and Brett Kavanaugh.
Can’t watch this without thinking of Brett Kavanaugh. https://t.co/swLe7x1FzF
— Irin Carmon (@irin) March 6, 2019
— Ili (@Ilispeaks) March 6, 2019
This performance wins the award for Best Meltdown While Being Asked Reasonable Questions in an Interview narrowly beating Kavanaugh in a run off. #rkellyinterview
— Lauren Clarke-Mason (@msclarkemason) March 6, 2019
Saw clips of R. Kelly interview w/ Gayle & thought, hmmmmm – where have I seen a performance like that before? pic.twitter.com/jNLB6h7Svz
— Baritone Liberavoice (@redstmiscreant) March 6, 2019
Of course, it wasn’t long before Twitter started meme-ing Kelly’s child-like outbursts.
Black Parents: YOU GOT ONE LAST TIME BEFORE I WHOOP YOU, IF JIMMY HAS 5 APPLES & HE EATS THREE HOW MANY DOES HE HAVE LEFT?
— Keebler (@iKayOreOo) March 6, 2019
— Thomas Cavanagh (@WordOnWilletsPt) March 6, 2019
— Gimme Yo Wallet! (@NiggaImBroke) March 6, 2019
— Chocolate Exposure 📸 (@kidnoble) March 6, 2019