An emotional R. Kelly broke his silence about his arrest on sexual abuse charges in a sit-down interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King, claiming he is innocent of allegations that he abused underage girls and that his past acquittal on similar charges lacks relevance to his current troubles.
“People are going back to my past and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that,” the 52-year-old singer said in a clip of the interview that aired Wednesday. “To make all of the stuff that’s going on now feel real to people.”
Kelly, who became visibly agitated as the interview proceeded, repeatedly refuted the accusations, dismissing them as unfounded.
“For one, I beat my case. When you beat something, you beat it,” he said of his 2008 acquittal on child pornography charges. “You can’t double-jeopardy me like that, it’s not fair.”
Asked about accusations that he held young women captive in a cult, Kelly responded, “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 four, five, six, 50? That’s stupid, guys!”
A tearful Kelly turned to address the camera directly, growing increasingly louder as King attempted to calm him down.
“Guys, use your common sense, forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me, hate me if you want, love me if you want, but just use your common sense, how stupid would it be?” Kelly said.
“I didn’t do this stuff — this is not me,” he yelled at one point. “I’m fighting for my f—-ing life!”
Kelly was arrested last month on charges that he sexually abused four women, including three who were underage at the time. If convicted, he faces up to 70 years in prison.
He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to be in court on March 22.