R. Kelly broke down in tears and angrily denied accusations that he raped underage girls in his first interview since his indictment last month.
‘Quit playing, I didn’t do this stuff,’ the pop singer tearfully told Gayle King of CBS News on Tuesday.
‘This is not me. I’m fighting for my f*****g life.’
Kelly was indicted on February 22 in a Chicago courtroom on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four victims, three of whom were underage at the time the alleged crimes were committed.
If convicted, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 70 years – 7 years for each count.
The singer has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true,” R&B singer R. Kelly says, angrily denying the claims against him; he sits down with @GayleKing in first interview since being charged with sexual abuse, only on @CBSThisMorning, Weds. 7a ET https://t.co/awWHvHZMMN pic.twitter.com/z9qnCzGzid
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 6, 2019
Kelly told CBS News that there was no merit to the allegations he forced underage girls to have sex with him.
‘Not true, whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors…Not true,’ Kelly said.
Prosecutors say Kelly’s alleged victims include a teenager he met when she sought an autograph during his 2008 trial on child pornography charges, another he met at her 16th-birthday party and his hairdresser, who was then 24.
The singer was acquitted of the 2008 pornography charges.
A fourth charge is based on a videotape that purportedly shows Kelly and a 14-year-old girl engaged in sexual acts, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors in the 2008 case also introduced a video as evidence against Kelly, but the victim did not testify.
The new charges emerged in a different environment, after the #MeToo movement had made accusers more willing to come forward and law enforcement more likely to believe them.
In his interview with CBS News, Kelly cited his acquittal to back up his claim that he is innocent.
‘I beat my case,’ he said on Tuesday. ‘We can’t double-jeopardy me like that.
‘You can’t. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.’
In the American legal system, the government is not allowed to try a defendant on the same or similar charges after he or she was already acquitted, a procedural defense known as ‘double jeopardy.’
R. Kelly says that the latest charges are an attempt by prosecutors to relitigate the cases he already beat.
‘I had two cases back then that I said in the beginning of the interview that I would not talk about because of my ongoing case now,’ he said on Tuesday.
‘But…people are going back to my past and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that, to make all of this stuff that’s going on now feel real to people.’
When asked if he ever held a girl against her will, R. Kelly replied: ‘I don’t need to. Why would I?
‘How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all I’ve been through in my way, way past, to hold somebody, let alone 4, 5, 6, 50, you said – how stupid would I be to do that?’
The singer continued: ‘That’s stupid! 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.
‘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!’
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who said he represents two of the alleged victims in the indictment and a third accuser, told reporters last week that he had turned over a second videotape to prosecutors.
The 55-minute video dated from around 2000 also showed a 14-year-old girl, though Avenatti did not specify whether it was the same girl as in the first video.
Avenatti said he obtained both tapes from two ‘whistleblowers’ he also represents, but none of his clients appear in either video.
The charges against the performer came just weeks after the Lifetime television network aired the six-hour documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, in which multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct and abuse.
The Lifetime series follows the BBC’s R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes, which was released last year.
It alleged that the singer was holding women against their will and running a ‘sex cult.’
Los Angeles-based lawyer Gloria Allred said she represents six women who have come forward to accuse Kelly of sexual abuse, including some who were featured in the documentary.
But she said none of her clients are included in the Cook County case.
At least four law enforcement agencies outside Cook County have opened investigations into her clients’ complaints, Allred told a news conference on Monday, including the New York Police Department and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
The allegations extend beyond Illinois. A lawyer representing an Atlanta-area couple who appeared in the Lifetime documentary said Georgia prosecutors have reached out to him.
Attorney Gerald Griggs represents Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage, who have said repeatedly that Kelly has brainwashed their daughter and kept her from contacting them.
– Daily Mail