© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
In emotional interview, US musician, R Kelly denies sexually assaulting minors
ROBERT Sylvestre Kelly, a popular musician from the United States of America, has granted an emotional interview during which he denied allegations of child sexual abuse against him.
The singer, popularly known as R-Kelly, said the allegations were aimed at denying him access to his children and ruining his life.
On February 23, R-Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, nine of which involved minors. He had turned himself in to the police after an arrest warrant was issued against him following the airing of a documentary titled ‘Surviving R Kelly’.
The documentary contained allegations of decades of abuse by R Kelly, from many women, including the singer’s ex-wife.
However, in the interview, he granted CBS television − the first since his arrest and arraignment − R Kelly admitted that he had done things in his past relationships that he is not proud of, “but I apologised in those relationships”.
“Everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said something good. They were describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I made mistakes, but I’m not a devil,” he cried.
Watch a part of R Kelly’s recent interview as shared on Twitter by Wale Gates:
His team should have never approved this interview. If you react like this in front of a jury….. you'll be luck not to get time.
— Wale Gates 🇳🇬🇬🇧 (@walegates) March 6, 2019
When asked if he ever had sex with minors, R Kelly replied “No. No. No,” insisting that the allegations were all lies. “I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive from these lies,” he said.
R Kelly said his accusers were leveraging on the power of the social media to destroy his life. He said people should disregard the several posts on social media and analyse the accusations rationally.
“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,” he said.
“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 a monster and 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!'”
Documents filed against R Kelly showed that some of the alleged sexual abuse took place between 1998 2010. At least three of the victims were aged between 13 and 16 at the time. The singer faces up to seven years imprisonment for each of the 10-count charges if convicted.
Also, prosecutors say they have submitted a video clip wherein R Kelly was seen having sexual intercourse with a girl of 14. The CNN said it has seen the video and that it was “clear and explicit”
History of abuse
According to the BBC, Kelly has faced, and denied, accusations about sexual and physical abuse for decades.
In 1994 it was reported he married 15-year-old singer and musical protégé Aaliyah at a secret ceremony in Chicago when he was 27. US media said she had lied about her age on the certificate, and the marriage was later annulled.
In 2002 R Kelly was charged with child pornography in Chicago over footage that appeared to show him engaging in intercourse, oral sex, urination, and other sexual acts with a girl said to be 13 or 14. But both he and the girl denied they were the ones in the video.
In 2017, Kelly was forced to deny allegations that he was holding a number of young women captive in a so-called “abusive cult” after a bombshell report from Buzzfeed News.
There have been calls by many women across the world for people to stop going to R Kelly shows or buying his music. The campaign, using the hashtag #MuteRKelly has gained popularity across various social media platforms.