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R. Kelly Breaks Down in Explosive CBS Interview: “Y’all Killing Me With This Shit”

CBS aired segments from a reported 80-minute-plus interview Gayle King conducted with R. Kelly this morning, following selected clips being released by the network last night. The interview began with an emotional Kelly disputing sexual abuse allegations made against him by numerous different women, particularly in the recent Lifetime documentary Surviving R. KellyHe called the women’s accounts of his suspected behavior “lies,” denying ever having sex with anyone under the age of 17 or engaging in any crimes against women (“absolutely not”). Kelly argued that his accusers and their families have come forward for the sake of commercial gain and claimed: “I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive. But I’m alive.”

When asked about his alleged abusive relationships with multiple women, Kelly said: “I don’t really know what a cult is but I don’t have one. If you really look at that documentary, which I’m sure you have … everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said nothing good. They were 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.”

Kelly also discussing his current relationships with Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, calling the two women—who are both in their early 20s—his “girlfriends.” He justified his arrangement with them by saying: “I’ve known guys all my life that have 5 or 6 women so don’t go there on me.” He went onto allege that their parents had “sold” them to him, claimed that Clary’s parents had “wanted” Kelly to have sex with their daughter when she was 17, and that he had refused. He also claimed Savage’s father had taken her to see Kelly when she was 19: “How come it was OK for me to see them until they wasn’t getting no money from me? If I was gonna take my 19-year-old daughter to a 49-year-old icon, celebrity, whatever, I’m not gonna put her on the stage and leave her… Their fathers know more about my music than they do.”

R. Kelly also discussed John Legend and Lady Gaga’s accusations against him, particularly Gaga’s apology for working with him in 2013. “She’s a very great talent and it’s unfortunate that her intelligence go to such a short level when it comes to that,” he said of the pop singer.

The interview came to a head when Kelly, in apparent despair, stood up from his chair and began screaming in a high-pitch voice. “”Stop it. You all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff!” he shrieked. “This is not me! I’m fighting for my fucking life! Y’all killing me with this shit!…Thirty years of my career, and y’all trying to kill me?” He continued: “This is not about music! I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids! And I can’t do it! Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth!”

R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse last month, and is currently out on $100,000 bond. Three of the charges pertain to alleged encounters with women under the age of 17. Kelly’s next court hearing is scheduled for March 23. You can watch an extended clip of the first part of the CBS interview here, and assorted portions of it below.