In first interview since arrest, R. Kelly argues his case

R. Kelly proclaimed his innocence Tuesday in Chicago during an interview with Gayle King that will air on Wednesday and Thursday’s editions of CBS This Morning. The sit-down features his first public comments since his arrest last month on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault on four victims, three of them underage.

The “Ignition” singer disputed the current charges and argued that past legal troubles, including his 2008 acquittal on child pornography charges, should not be held against him. Accusations both new and old against the singer were recounted in Lifetime’s 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly.

At one point in a clip from the interview, Kelly says, “Stop it. You don’t quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f*cking life!”

King questioned Kelly about accusations that he’s held girls and women against their will, a charge he flatly denied.

“That’s stupid! Use your common sense,” Kelly said. “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, 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!”

The full interview will air Wednesday and Thursday on CBS This Morning, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays. Friday’s episode will feature an interview with Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, two women currently living with Kelly.

The singer is expected back in court later this month.

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