R. Kelly Addresses His Past Sexual Misconduct Allegations: ‘That’s a Rumor That Comes From the Earth’
R. Kelly is, arguably, the King of R&B. But throughout his career he has been dogged by rumors of being obsessed with underage girls. The tipping point came in 2008, when the veteran crooner was on trial for 21 counts of child pornography. He was acquitted on all charges.
In a lengthy feature with New York Magazine's Vulture, questions about his alleged sexual proclivities with minors were brought up. The 48-year-old singer categorically denied the allegations and blames haters who are trying to destroy his reputation.
Below is a series of questions R. Kelly responded to in regards to his past sexual misconduct allegations.
Do you have a sexual attraction to underage girls?
“That’s a rumor that comes from the Earth, like all rumors,” he says, sounding almost bored.
So it’s not true?
“No. It’s not true. I love women, period. If I wasn’t a celebrity, people wouldn’t be saying these things about me.”
How do you explain people close to you saying that you have a problem?
"I don’t know those people you’re talking about."
I clarify: his brother, his ex-publicist, his former friend and longtime personal assistant.
“All those people have been fired by me. If you’re going to ask me these questions, you have to make sense out of it. It wasn’t until after they got fired that they said these things. Go figure. I got one life, and I don’t want to spend it talking about negativity. I’ve moved on. Maybe you haven’t.”
It’s not crazy to think that where there’s smoke there’s fire.
“Let’s correct that,” he says. “Smoke can be anything. I’ve seen smoke and then I looked and there was no fire.”
R. Kelly then tells the writer that he doesn't have any recollection of his infamous child pornography trial back in 2008. When asked if he has a compulsion that he needs help with, Kellz responds, “I only have a problem with haters. Other than that, I’m doing well. I feel better than ever with my album The Buffet.”
In your career, you’ve often sung about forgiveness. What do you need to be forgiven for?
“I go to church. I ask for forgiveness. Don’t make a big deal out of R. Kelly saying it in a song. I believe in God. I fear God. I don’t want to go to hell.”
Do you think you might?
“Young fella,” he says, “absolutely.”
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