CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual abuse.

R&B singer and accused sexual predator R. Kelly has professed his innocence in his first televised interview since being charged with criminal sex abuse against underage girls last month.

“I’m fighting for my fucking life,” he said.

In short clips of the interview with CBS reporter Gayle King, Kelly said opinions on the recent charges were coloured by his previous legal battles, including his controversial 2008 acquittal on child pornography charges.

“They’re going back to the past, and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now, to that,” Kelly said.

When asked why he believes an extensive history of abuse accusations is irrelevant to the new charges, Kelly said “you can’t double jeopardy me like that. It’s not fair.

“It’s not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.”

When pushed on the specific allegations that he has held women against their will in emotionally abusive and cult-like environments, Kelly said “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 four, five, six, fifty, you said? How stupid would I be to do that?”

A visibly emotional Kelly then said “I’m fighting for my fucking life.”

Photographs posted on King’s Instagram reveal someone restraining Kelly as he stood over the reporter at a different point in the interview.

The interview comes after a renewed period of scrutiny on Kelly, who has settled numerous allegations of sexual abuse with minors out of court, and whose alleged history of predation was recently catalogued in the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly. 

That heightened interest in the 52-year-old’s alleged behaviour led to last month’s indictment and arrest on ten charges of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims. three of whom were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.

Kelly spent a night in jail before posting AU $140,000 in bail. His next court hearing is slated for March 22.


If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.

Source: CBS Evening News
Image: @gayleking / Instagram