'This isn't me': R Kelly denies sexual abuse allegations in first TV interview since being charged

The R&B star said the allegations against him were just rumours as he faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse.

CBS Evening News / YouTube

R&B SUPERSTAR R Kelly has denied allegations he sexually abused women and girls in his first public comments since being charged last month.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This isn’t me,” Kelly told CBS This Morning, saying he was “fighting” for his life in an interview to air today. Excerpts were released yesterday.

He dismissed the allegations against him as rumours.

“Whether they’re old rumours, new rumours, future rumours, not true,” said Kelly, who became upset at times during the interview.

Kelly, 52, pleaded not guilty late last month in Chicago to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse.

He spent three nights behind bars and was released after coming up with $100,000 (€88,523), 10% of the $1 million (€885,230) bail set in court.

The sex acts are alleged to have occurred between May 1998 and January 2010, according to prosecutors.

Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct before.

In 2002 he was charged after allegedly filming himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

Now he says his reputation is being used against him.

“People are going back to my past, OK? That’s exactly what they’re doing,” Kelly said.

They’re going back to the past and they trying to add all of this stuff now to that. To make all this stuff that’s going on now feel real to people.

He also addressed a report by BuzzFeed in 2017 that said Kelly had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta.

Kelly denied ever holding anyone against their will.

“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,” he asked.

“That’s stupid,” Kelly added, looking right into the camera.

The BuzzFeed allegations did not lead to any charges.

In January, a six-part documentary called Surviving R Kelly was released. It alleged he engaged in sexual, mental and physical abuse of girls and women.

- © AFP 2019

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