R. Kelly sat down for his first interview since he was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse last month.
Speaking with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, the R&B superstar denied having sex with underage girls and portrayed himself as a victim of a smear campaign.
During the explosive 80-minute interview at his Chicago apartment, which aired in part on Wednesday, Kelly became unhinged, screaming and crying while pleading on camera. At one point, King stopped the interview so he could regain his composure.
“I’m very tired of all of the lies,” said Kelly. “I’ve been hearing things and seeing things on the blogs and I’m just tired.”
Kelly, 52, said the lies include that he’s holding women against their will and that he has a “cult.” “I don’t even really know what a cult is, but I know I don’t have one,” he said.
Kelly’s arrest follows the six-part Lifetime docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which multiple women accused the singer of sexual abuse.
“Everybody says something bad about me,” he said. “Nobody said nothing good. They was describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I make mistakes, but I’m not a devil. And by no means am I a monster.”
He blamed social media for igniting a smear campaign. “You can start a rumor on a guy like me or a celebrity just like that,” he said. “All you have to do is push a button on your phone and say: ‘So and so did this to me. R. Kelly did this to me.'”
He denied having sexual relations with anyone under the age of 17 and blasted those attacking him. “I have been assassinated,” he said. “I have been buried alive, but I’m alive.”
At one point, Kelly grew emotional as he pleaded his innocence. “I didn’t do this stuff,” he said. “This is not me. I’m fightin’ for my fu**in’ life. Y’all killin’ me with this shit.”
He then got out of his chair and screamed into the camera. “I gave y’all 30 years of my fuckin’ career and y’all tryna kill me,” he said. “I’m tryna have a relationship with my kids and I can’t do it. Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth.”
A publicist stepped in to calm Kelly and King stopped the cameras so he could regain his composure. “This is not true,” he continued. “It doesn’t even make sense. Why would I hold all these women? Their mothers and fathers told me, ‘We gon’ destroy your career.'”
When asked if he needed help, he admitted that he was at fault for being so forgiving. “I need help. This is the kind of help I need. I need somebody to help me not have a big heart because my heart is so big,” he said. “People betray me and I keep forgiving them.”
When King suggested he was playing the victim, Kelly insisted he was just telling the truth.
King also brought up Kelly’s past as a sexual abuse survivor (He was molested by a family member as a child). “Any struggles I’ve had in my past has affected my music,” he said, but denied that his past had affected his behavior.
Later in the interview, he revealed that he was thinking about going to therapy. “At this point, I’m definitely talking about that.”
Kelly was also asked about his relationship with the two women he currently lives with, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage. “I love them and it’s like they’re my girlfriends, it’s like we have a relationship,” he said. “It’s real and I’ve known guys all my life to have five or six women, OK, so don’t go there on me because that’s the truth.”
King also interviewed the two women. A portion of that interview aired on Wednesday, during which an emotional Clary addressed the allegations.
“I’m crying because you guys don’t know the truth,” said Clary. “You guys are believing some fucking facade that our parents are saying. This is all fucking lies for money. If you can’t see that, you’re ignorant and you’re stupid.”
WATCH: @GayleKing spoke to Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary about living with R. Kelly and their estranged relationship with their families. It made them very emotional.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 6, 2019
Last month, Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged events. Nine of the 10 counts involve alleged victims ranging from 13 to 16 years old. Kelly was released from jail after posting $100,000 of his $1 million bail.