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R Kelly breaks silence over sex abuse accusations: ‘This is not me’

R Kelly has tearfully and angrily denied allegations of sexual abuse in the first interview since his arrest last month.

“I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me,” he told CBS This Morning, adding that he is “fighting for my life”.

Chicago prosecutors have charged Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, involving four alleged victims, three of whom were minors.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is currently out on bail.

If convicted, he faces three to seven years in prison for each crime.

The case follows a 2002 trial, in which Kelly faced 21 counts of child pornography, stemming from a sex tape with a girl who was alleged to be underage.

The jury eventually concluded they could not prove the girl on the tape was a minor and Kelly was found not guilty on all counts.

Speaking to CBS news reporter Gayle King, Kelly said the earlier trial was being used to give the latest accusations credence.

“They’re going back to the past and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that, to make all of the stuff that’s going on now feel real to people,” he said, in a clip released ahead of the full interview.

“But the past is relevant with you with underage girls,” Gayle replied.

“Absolutely no it’s not,” Kelly protested. “Because, for one I beat my case. You can’t double jeopardy me like that. When you beat your case, you beat your case”.

R Kelly performingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe singer became famous with hits like Vibe, I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix)

The star also denied accusations, raised in the recent documentary Surviving R Kelly, that he held women against their will, confiscating their phones, restricting their food, and denying them access to their families.

Becoming emotional, he asked King: “How stupid would it be for R Kelly, with all I’ve been through to hold somebody? How stupid would I be to do that?”

“Use your common sense,” he continued, raising his voice and turning to address the camera.

“Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to; love me if you want. But just use your common sense.”

“How stupid would it be for me with my crazy past and what I’ve been through [to say], ‘Oh right now, I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will and chain them up in my basement?”

“Quit playing, quit playing,” he said, becoming tearful. This is not me.”

‘Severe mental abuse’

The full interview is due to be played in two parts on CBS This Morning on Wednesday and Thursday.

King has also interviewed two women, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who live with Kelly, in a segment which will be broadcast on Friday.

Clary’s parents, who say their daughter is being held against her will, issued a statement ahead of the show condemning Kelly.

“We love our daughter Azriel very much and we miss her,” said Alice and Angelo Clary.

“Azriel suffered severe mental abuse at the hands of R Kelly for years. She’s also likely suffering from symptoms similar to those found with Stockholm Syndrome.

“R Kelly is a liar, manipulator and sociopath who must be brought to justice for his decades of sexual assaults on underage girls. All these victims and their parents cannot be lying.”

Source: BBC 

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