In his first interview since being charged with sexually abusing four people, including three underage girls, R. Kelly says he “didn’t do this stuff” and he’s fighting for his life.
The R&B singer, out on bail after his Feb. 22 arrest in Chicago, gave the interview to Gayle King of “CBS This Morning,” with excerpts airing Tuesday night. More of the interview will air Wednesday and Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”
In an excerpt, Kelly tells King that rumors of him having sex with and abusing underage girls are, “Not true.
“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true,” Kelly said.
When King asked Kelly if he has held women against their will, he replied “That’s stupid!”
CBS News National Correspondent Jericka Duncan said on “CBS Evening News” Tuesday the entire interview was about an hour and 20 minutes long.
“Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me,” Kelly 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 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, and don’t let them out.”
When King persisted in questioning, Kelly angrily responded, “Stop it. Y’all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me!”
He broke down in tears as he hit his hands together and says, “I’m fighting for my (expletive) life.”
CBS also plans to air interviews with two women who are currently living with Kelly, including one whose parents say she is being held against her will.
Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 that centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13.
“For one, I beat my case. When you beat something you beat it. You can’t double jeopardy me like that. It’s not fair,” Kelly also tells King during the interview.
Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for two Kelly accusers, responded to Kelly’s “double jeopardy” comment Tuesday on Twitter.
“He fails to understand that it doesn’t matter ‘how long ago’ it happened. And he also has no clue as to how ‘double jeopardy’ works,” the attorney tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet, Avenatti addressed the emotion that Kelly shows in the interview: “R. Kelly’s tears are out of fear and despair. Because he knows that after over two decades of sexually abusing underage girls, we blew this wide open and have him and his enablers dead to rights.”