Lady Gaga has finally apologized for working with R.Kelly, and it only took a little over five years, some in-depth investigative reporting, a Lifetime docuseries, and an official criminal investigation in Georgia to get to this point. Early this morning, Gaga released a written statement supporting R. Kelly’s many victims via her Twitter account:
Gaga’s apology comes after the industry-rocking, three-night docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime. As a direct result of the series, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office has launched a criminal probe and is actively seeking information from potential victims and witnesses. While the details of the series are undoubtedly horrific, Kelly’s documented history with abuse goes back to the ‘90s, and includes numerous civil lawsuits and a high-profile child pornography case in 2008—five years before his 2013 collaboration with Gaga, “Do What U Want (With My Body).”
Questions surrounding Kelly’s dubious professional relationships rose again in 2017, when Buzzfeed published a detailed, highly corroborated investigative report about a young woman whose parents claimed she was being held by Kelly in a “sex cult.” Though shocking, the story apparently wasn’t enough to sufficiently derail his career, or for past collaborators—including Gaga—to denounce past work with him.
But things have changed, and Gaga has now gone on to explain that her collaboration with Kelly took place during a “dark time” when she had not fully processed the trauma of her own sexual assault. Now, she is working to get the song removed from all streaming services, and hopes that the public will remember her very vocal support of fellow assault victims over the past few years. “I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career,” Gaga writes. “I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain.”
As they say, better perplexingly late than never.