R. Kelly (Photo: Getty Images)
As acknowledged early in Chris Heath’s GQ profile of R. Kelly, the singer has never really spoken much about the various accusations lobbed against him throughout his career: alleged sex with minors, a marriage to a then-underage Aaliyah, that sex tape. Recently, R. Kelly walked off the set of HuffPost Live after repeatedly refusing to answer any questions about the controversies that have clouded his career. However, Kelly agreed to talk about all of it in a three-day interview featured in GQ’s February issue.
Speaking to the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a female relative as a child, Kelly refers to a “generational curse” within his family in which victims grow up to be victimizers, the obvious elephant in the room being the multiple women who’ve alleged that Kelly had sex with them before they were 18.
Responding to this later, Kelly opens up a whole new can of worms:
Generational curse doesn’t mean that the curse can’t be broken. Just like having no father, that’s a generational curse. Which is why, when my kids were born, I was Bill Cosby in the house. You know, the good one. You know, let’s be clear there: how we saw Bill Cosby when we were coming up.
Also like Cosby, Kelly has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing with any of his accusers; he has never been convicted of a crime relating to any of the accusations made against him.
I think, man, abso-effing-lutely I’ve been treated unfair. Yes. I’m not, you know, this innocent guy with a halo over his head. No, I love women. Do I like to sleep with underage girls? Absolutely not. I’ve said it a million times. But do I have people trying to destroy my career? Absolutely.
As for the 50+ accusations of sexual assault lobbed against Cosby, R. Kelly claims he’s not sure.
“Well, my opinion on that is, I don’t know what happened,” Kelly says. “[A]ll I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there’s something strange about it. … [W]hen you wait 70 years, 50 years, 40 years, to say something that simple, it’s strange. You know why I say that is because it happened to me, and it wasn’t true.”
Kelly also speaks — almost — to the rumor that he married Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was 27, saying that he doesn’t speak about it at the behest of her parents. (Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 when she was 22.)
Well, unfortunately when there’s two parties involved in any situation, both parties have to be respected. Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself in a way to respect someone else’s wishes, and to respect someone else’s passing…. People can say, “Hey, well, he’s just trying to protect hisself.” Well, I have nothing to protect myself from. I’m still successful.
You can read the full piece on R. Kelly here.