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R. Kelly says he's only guilty of having too big of a heart

Screenshot: CBS

Last night, CBS released a clip of Gayle King’s new interview with R. Kelly, one that found the alleged abuser yelling into the camera that he’s “fighting for my fucking life!” Today, CBS aired more excerpts from the 80-minute interview, in which Kelly, who’s been charged with 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse, asserts his innocence and claims that the parents alleging that their daughters are “brainwashed” and being held against their will are only after his money.

“I have been assassinated, I have been buried alive,” he tells King. “But I’m alive.”


Later in the interview, while screaming through tears, Kelly stood up over King, his finger stabbing the air. “Y’all killing me with this shit!” he yelled. “I gave you 30 years of my fucking career!”

After being calmed down by King, Kelly says he needs “help.” He continues, “I need somebody to help me not have a big heart. Because my heart is so big, people betray me and I keep forgiving them.”

See that clip below.

Elsewhere in the interview, Kelly addressed the allegations that he was keeping a rigid, abusive “sex cult” in his homes, as was alleged in a bombshell Buzzfeed story from 2017. “I don’t even really know what a cult is. But I know I don’t have one.”


Kelly goes on to aggressively deny that he’s ever had sex with anyone under the age of 17, despite recent reports of two different videotapes depicting Kelly assaulting a minor. CNN called the first one, which was obtained by lawyer Michael Avenatti, “clear and explicit.” Kelly was cleared of child pornography charges in 2008, when another tape of him allegedly assaulting a minor was used as evidence.


Kelly says any women who have come forth with allegations of sexual abuse are “lying on me.”


Kelly also claims that Surviving R. Kelly, the damning six-part Lifetime series that interviewed more than 50 people, is also filled with people “lying on me.”

“If you really look at that documentary, everybody says something bad about me,” he says. “Nobody says 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.”


Kelly blames the “power of social media” for the abundance of allegations against him. “You can start a rumor on a guy like me or a celebrity, just like that. All you have to do is push a button on your phone and say so-and-so did this to me, R. Kelly did this to me, and, if you get any traction from that, if you able to write a book from that, if you able to get a reality show, then any girl that I had a relationship in the past that just didn’t work out, she can come and say the same exact thing.”


Kelly is currently living with 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary, the parents of whom believe that Kelly has brainwashed their daughters. In response, Kelly accuses the parents of “handing their daughters” over to him. “What kind of father, what kind of mother, would sell their daughter to a man?” he asks. “How come it was okay for me to see them until they wasn’t getting no money from me?”

See that clip in full below.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all counts. His next hearing is scheduled for March 22.


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.