R. Kelly sat down with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King for his first televised interview since he was charged with ten counts of felony aggravated criminal sex abuse. In the interview, which aired Wednesday, Kelly denied any wrongdoing, and appeared to lash out at King with rage throughout, especially when she pushed back on his claim that he didn’t hold anyone against their will.
“I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my fucking life! Y’all killing me with this shit!” he yelled as he stood up, gesticulating furiously at King. “I gave you 30 years of my fucking career!”
Over the last 25 years, allegations have swirled about Kelly’s sexual abuse of underage women; his accusations involve child pornography, running a sex cult, and brainwashing young women into relationships with him.
The photo of Kelly’s outburst has gone viral, and King said during the CBS This Morning broadcast that at this point, the crew took a pause in the interview to give him “a moment” as his publicist held him back and attempted to calm him down.
Throughout the interview, Kelly repeatedly asked, “Is this camera on me?” while pointing at the camera behind King, and directly addressed the camera while denying the allegations.
“I hope this camera keeps going. This is not true!” he yelled at one point. “It doesn’t even make sense! Why would I hold all these women?”
King, who has been praised for her composure during Kelly’s outburst, said during the broadcast that while she did get concerned phone calls from family (and Oprah) after the clips first aired, she was never worried that Kelly would purposefully hit her.
Elsewhere in the interview, Kelly addressed his current relationship with the two young women who live with him at his home in Chicago, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary (who he has been accused of brainwashing into being a part of his sex cult). He told King that they were both his “girlfriends,” and said, “I’ve known guys all my life that have five or six women, so don’t go there on me.”
When King asked about the women being “much younger” than the 52-year-old Kelly, he said, “I don’t look at ‘much younger.’ I look at ‘legal.’”
Asked if he was saying that Clary and Savage’s parents handed their daughters over to him, he said, “Absolutely. Are the cameras still going? Absolutely.”
King said during the broadcast that Savage’s parents plan to hold a press conference later in the day addressing the interview. CBS This Morning will air more of Kelly’s interview on Thursday, and will air interviews with Clary and Savage on Friday.