R. Kelly is breaking his silence. The disgraced R&B singer sat down with Gayle King for a pre-taped interview on "CBS This Morning" and addressed his recent charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The full interview aired on Wednesday (March 6) morning.
Kelly became visibly emotional during the interview, which reportedly lasted over an hour, as King challenged his repeated denial of the allegations made against him over the years. "Have you ever had sex with anyone under the age of 17?" the CBS co-anchor asked. "No," Kelly said.
"I have to tell you, it's so hard to believe that based on all that we've read and what the women said about you," King retorted, referring to several women who have recently come forward alleging the "I Admit" singer had sexual relationships with them while they were underage.
Still, Kelly insists he's innocent. "So nobody's allowed to be mad at me and be scorned and lie on me?" he told the 64-year-old journalist. "So they're lying on you? That's your explanation," King responded. "Absolutely," Kelly claimed.
At one point during their explosive interview, King asked Kelly what would make him "so special" or "so unlikable" that many women would want to make up false allegations against him. According to Kelly, his accusers are all upset that their relationships with him didn't work out and he believes it's the reason so many are coming forward.
King immediately shot down his theory, telling Kelly, "women have been traumatized and now feel comfortable in speaking out now. They now believe they will be believed," she explained. "It's a different time, Robert."
Speaking of the six-part Lifetime docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly," which aired in January, King asked, "Are you saying everybody in that documentary was not telling the truth about you?" Kelly argued that "nobody said something good" about him. "I'm a man. I make mistakes, but I'm not a devil, and by no means am I a monster," he told her. After King listed out the names of the women who accused him in the documentary, Kelly replied, "They are lying on me."
When King pressed even further about how could several women come forward with similar allegations without having any connection to one another, Kelly's defense was "the power of social media."
King asked Kelly if he had ever held anyone against their will. At this point, the 52-year-old became belligerent and began to scream at the cameras. "Is this camera on me? That's stupid! Use your common sense!"
Kelly continued, "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 monster, and 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!"
Kelly then stood up in tears, shouting, "I didn't do this stuff! This is not me. I'm fighting for my f—king life! Y'all killing me with this s—t! I gave you 30 years of my f—king career!"
In February, the singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four women, of three who were minors at the time. He turned himself into authorities and was later released on $100k bond. Kelly has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, the Grammy Award winner faces up to 70 years in prison.
Keep reading to see video clips from Kelly's interview with King ahead.