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R. Kelly Cries and Denies in First Interview Since Arrest for Sexual Abuse

An interview with R. Kelly set to air on “CBS This Morning” on Friday — the singer’s first since posting bail in Chicago following an arrest on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse — is being described as “explosive” and “compelling” by the network. Conducted by Gayle King, Kelly (whose first name is Robert) is seen crying in clips released on Tuesday night. He’s also said to be “angry and sad.”

The full interview clocked in at an hour and 20 minutes. In the portions set to air, Kelly repeatedly denies the accusations made against him. Though it’s unclear in the footage released if he’s referring solely to cases in which he was acquitted in 2008. One could surmise that he evades some of King’s line of questioning.

King also sat down with Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, two of the women currently living with Kelly. Savage’s parents participated in the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” in an effort to reach their daughter. Both women were present at Kelly’s bail hearing. 

Kelly’s bail was set at $1 million and he also owes $168,000 in back child support. His next court date is scheduled for March 22. Four victims dating back to 1998 have accused the R&B star in separate cases — three of them were minors at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.

Read released portions of the interview transcript below and watch the clips on CBS.com.

GAYLE KING: They are still talking about you with underage girls. Do you still sit here and say you have never been with underage girls? Can you really say that?

R. KELLY: I sit here and say this: I had two cases back then that I said in the beginning of the interview that I would not talk about because of my ongoing case now.


KELLY: Fair enough, but I will tell you this: people are going back to my past, OK? That’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re going back to the past, and they trying to add all of this stuff now to that. To make all of this stuff that’s going on now feels real to people.

KING: But the past is relevant with you with underage girls?

KELLY: Absolutely, no it’s not.

KING: Why?

KELLY: Because for one I beat my case. When you beat something, you beat it.

KING: You were acquitted. You were acquitted.

KELLY: You can’t double-jeopardy me like that. You can’t. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.

KING: 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 and physically and verbally. R Kelly took me in a black room where unspeakable things happened.” This is what they’re saying about you.

KELLY: Not true.

KING: These aren’t old rumors.

KELLY: Not true. Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true.

KING: Correct me if I’m wrong that you’ve never held anybody against their will?

KELLY: 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 4, 5, 6, 50, you said – how stupid would I be to do that?

KING: I didn’t say you were holding

KELLY: That’s stupid, guys!  Is this camera on me?

KING: Yes, it’s on.

KELLY: That’s stupid! Use your common sense. Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to, love me if you want. But just use your common sense. 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, 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!

KING: Robert –

KELLY: Stop it. You don’t quit playing!  Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f—ing life!

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