R. Kelly is blaming scorned women and social media for his latest troubles.
In his first TV interview since he was charged with sexual abuse last month, the singer ranted and cried, saying he is being persecuted.
“You can start a rumor on a guy like me or a celebrity, just like that,” Kelly told CBS News’ Gayle King. “All you have to do is push a button on your phone and say, ‘So and so did this to me, R. Kelly did this to me,’ and if you get any traction from that, if you’re able to write a book from that, if you’re able to get a reality show, then any girl that I had a relationship (with) in the past that it just didn’t work out can come and say the same thing.”
He added, “I’m talking about the power of social media.”
King sat down with Kelly in his Chicago apartment for a nearly 80-minute interview, a portion of which aired Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”
“I’m very tired of all of the lies,” Kelly said. “I’ve been hearing things and seeing things on all of the blogs and I’m just tired.”
Kelly said those lies include that he’s holding women against their will and that he has a “cult.”
“I don’t even really know what a cult is, but I know I don’t have one,” the singer said.
Kelly was indicted last month on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse – a class 2 felony – involving four alleged victims.
The indictment accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13 but younger than 17. There is no age range listed for one of the alleged victims. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force.
Kelly has denied the charges, and his attorney, Steve Greenberg, has said his client is innocent.
“I think all the women are lying,” Greenberg said after Kelly turned himself in to police.
Parents deny receiving money from Kelly
Attorneys for two families who say Kelly is controlling their daughters, Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, spoke out after the CBS interview to deny that their complaints were based on money.
The attorneys said the families have never asked for or received any money from Kelly. The parents of the two women denied they sold their daughters to him.
In the CBS interview, Kelly said Savage and Clary are his girlfriends.
“What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?” he asked. “How come it was OK for them to see me until they weren’t getting no money from me?”
King also interviewed Clary, and a portion of the interview aired Wednesday morning. In the clip, Clary is crying and Savage is comforting her.