R. Kelly has broken his silence since being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. In a CBS interview, set to air on Wednesday, March 6, the singer appears to deny the allegations against him, dismissing the claims as “rumors.”
In the promotional clip released, CBS reporter Gayle King asks the singer, “Do you still sit here and say that you have never been with underage girls?” To which R. Kelly responds, “I’ll sit here and say this, I had two cases back then that I said at the beginning of the interview that I would not talk about because of my ongoing case now. But, I will tell you this: people are going back to my past and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that, to make all of the stuff that’s going on now feel real to people.”
King then continues to press Kelly on his sordid sexual assault history, noting that, “But the past is relevant with you with underage girls.” Kelly then appears to be angered by King’s assertion, claiming “Absolutely no it’s not.” King then asks the singer why he believes that’s it’s no longer pertinent, to which Kelly says, “because for one, I beat my case.” King then reminds the singer that he was acquitted, prompting Kelly to defensively claim, “you can’t double jeopardy me like that, it’s not fair, when you beat your case you beat your case.”
Despite Kelly’s clear intention to stay away from discussing the charges he’s currently facing, King clearly lays out the question at hand. “But I’m not talking about the one case in which you were acquitted, I’m talking about the other cases where women have come forward and said ‘R. Kelly had sex with me when I was under the age of 18. R. Kelly was abusive to me, emotionally, physically, and verbally. R. Kelly took me in a black room where unspeakable things happened.’ This is what they’re saying about you.” Kelly dismissed the claims as “untrue.”
When King reminds the singer that “these aren’t old rumors,” Kelly continues to deny the allegations. “Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors—not true.”
The singer appears to become much more emotional as the interview continues. He points to the camera directly in front of him yelling, “Is this camera on me?,” he then starts to cry while addressing the public directly. “Stop it. All you quit playing. Quit playing. I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my fucking life!”
The full interview will air on CBS at 7 a.m. ET.