UPDATE: R. Kelly was arrested Wednesday during a hearing in Chicago over unpaid child support.
R. Kelly shouted, cried and insisted he was innocent in his first interview since he was charged last month with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
During the heated conversation with Gayle King that aired Wednesday on CBS This Morning, Kelly claimed his accusers are lying.
“What are the lies that you’re hearing that disturb you most?” King asked.
“Oh my God,” Kelly responded. “All of them, got little girls trapped in the basement. Helicopters over my house, trying to rescue someone that doesn’t need rescuing.”
He continued, “Handcuffing people, starving people, I have a harem, what you call it — a cult. I don’t even really know what a cult is. But I know I don’t have one.”
Kelly insisted he had not broken any laws when it comes to women, and criticized the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly that allowed some of his accusers to share their stories.
“If you really look at that documentary, which I’m sure you have, everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said nothing good. They were describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I make mistakes, but I’m not a devil, and by no means am I a monster,” he said.
King mentioned the names of several accusers who spoke out in the documentary, but Kelly insisted each had made up their accounts of alleged abuse.
“They are lying on me,” he said.
King brought up the latest charges against the Grammy winner, in which Chicago prosecutors allege he abused four females, including three underage girls. But Kelly continued to maintain his innocence.
“I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive,” he said. “But I’m alive.”
The embattled singer then raised his voice and broke down in tears, “Stop it. Ya’ll quit playing… I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. I’m fighting for my fu–ing life. Ya’ll killing me with this shit.”
As he ranted and jumped out of his seat, King tried to calm him down by repeatedly saying his name, Robert, over and over. Kelly’s publicist held him back and King said they took a break from recording.
The second part of the interview was just as shocking, with King asking about Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, two women who live with the singer, but their parents say they are being held against their will.
“They’re my girlfriends,” he said. “We have a relationship. It’s real.”
Asked if he was attracted to young women and underage girls, Kelly responded, “I don’t look (for women) much younger than me. I just look at legal.”
Kelly claimed the parents of Clary and Savage handed their daughters over to him, and he accused them of being irresponsible for bringing the then 19 and 17 year old girls to his concerts, where he met them.
“What kind of father, what kind of mother, would sell their daughter to a man?” he asked. “How come it was OK for me to see them until they wasn’t getting no money from me? If I was gonna take my daughter and she’s 19 years old, to a 49-year-old icon, whatever, celebrity, or R. Kelly concert or whoever it is, I’m not gonna put her on the stage and leave her… Their fathers know more about my music than they do.”
Kelly claimed the parents wanted music careers for their daughters and were out to make money.
“You’re saying the parents handed their daughters Azriel and Joycelyn to you?” King asked.
“Absolutely,” Kelly said.