Posted: January 10, 2019
By Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Lady Gaga apologized early Thursday for a previous collaboration with singer R. Kelly, just days after the Lifetime docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" shed new light on sexual abuse allegations against the R&B star.
"I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously," Gaga tweeted of the women's claims, which Kelly has denied. "What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible."
The "A Star Is Born" actress promised to pull her 2013 song "Do What U Want (With My Body)," a duet with Kelly, from streaming services and Apple's iTunes store. She added that she "will not be working with him again."
"As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life," she wrote. "My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn't processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life."
Gaga, 32, said she used "poor judgment" when she recorded the song and apologized for not speaking out against Kelly sooner.
"I can't go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault," she said.
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
According to TMZ, Kelly did not watch the show, but is “disgusted” and plans to file lawsuits against anyone who took part in executive producer dream hampton’s creation, including Lifetime and the alleged survivors of his abuse.
The six-hour, three-part special detailed accounts of Kelly’s history of alleged physical and emotional abuse of women, including a recent “abusive cult” in which the singer is accused of holding women against their will.
The claims, reported in July 2017 by Jim DeRogatis of BuzzFeed, come from sources living in one of the two homes in which Kelly is reportedly running the cult, including from one in metro Atlanta.
Here are seven things to know about R. Kelly:1. He was born in Chicago.
Robert Sylvester Kelly was born in Hyde Park, Chicago, in Illinois and grew up with three siblings and a single mother.
In 1998, Kelly won best R&B song, best male R&B vocal performance and best song written for a motion picture for his hit, “I Believe I Can Fly.”
In his 2012 memoir “Soulacoaster,” Kelly wrote about being sexually abused as a child by an older woman, who he referred to as a relative.
In an interview with GQ, Kelly said the abuse went on from around age 7 or 8 to 14 or 15 and occurred every other day or week.4. He has been accused of sexual misconduct several times.
DeRogatis, the same reporter behind 2017’s BuzzFeed story, penned the first sexual abuse allegations against Kelly in a 2000 Chicago Sun-Times story, which focused on a woman named Tiffany Hawkins, who claimed the two had sex when she was 15-18 years old between 1991 to 1994.
In 2013, DeRogatis, who received anonymously sourced sex tapes of Kelly and underage girls, said he had interviewed nearly two dozen women who claimed Kelly sexually abused them, according to Village Voice.
In 2008, after he was arrested and indicted on child pornography charges, Kelly was found not guilty on all 14 counts.
The late singer Aaliyah Haughton, who died tragically in a plane crash at age 22, met R. Kelly when she was 12 years old.
In 1994, after the two formed a close partnership, Kelly, 27, secretly married 15-year-old Aaliyah using a falsified marriage certificate in which she lied about being 18 years old.
Eventually, Aaliyah’s family found out about the controversial marriage and the two ended the union with an annulment.
Kelly and Aaliyah also began recording the album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” in 1993.6. An April 2017 lawsuit claimed that Kelly had an affair with a deputy’s wife.
In April 2017, Kelly was accused of being involved with the wife of Kenny Bryant, a deputy in the Mississippi Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.
Asia Childress, Bryant’s wife, lied about ending the relationship with Kelly when she and Bryant married.
Eventually, Childress convinced Bryant to move to Georgia for his career, but “the ulterior motive ... was to foster her relationship with R. Kelly,” the lawsuit read.
Bryant said he went through “grievous mental and emotional distress” and “financial ruin.”
In a 2015 interview with AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri, Kelly said: “I’ve always loved Atlanta, I’ve always called it Chicago’s cousin. When I come to Atlanta it reminds me of my hometown. I’ve got a lot of friends here, so it always felt like home. I used to say all the time when I get a chance I’m gonna get a three-flat and come to Atlanta and I finally got my chance and I’m here and I’m just trying to plant a few seeds here musically.”
According to the 2017 BuzzFeed story, one of the homes in which Kelly is accused of running a cult in is located in Georgia's Johns Creek neighborhood in north Fulton County.
UPDATE 2:00 pm. Jan. 9: Master P clarified his remarks in which he appeared to blame the parents of alleged victims of R. Kelly.
The mogul appeared on “The Real” Wednesday morning and said headlines misconstrued what he was saying. On Monday, Master P posted two Instagram videos after watching the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.”
“I say me as a parent -- I would’ve kicked that door in. I’m not blaming (the victim’s parents). I’m saying that whatever justice needs to be done to R. Kelly that needs to get done,” he said. “We love our beautiful black women that went through this and we want to see justice for them. So I’m just saying me, as a parent, I would’ve turned into the Incredible Hulk and kicked the door down. That’s it.
“So I’m not blaming nobody. I said I don’t respect that. As fathers we got to go all out when we got to. I love my kids. I’mma do whatever I got to do.”
Master P’s full comments can be seen below.
Master P is among the celebrities continuing to share reactions to Lifetime’s docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly.”
The series contains interviews and details from victims of the R&B singer, who continues to face accusations of engaging in sex with underage girls and running a sex cult. The last two episodes include interviews with parents of some of the alleged victims. In one part of an episode, a rescue is staged for a victim.
The 48-year-old mogul shared his thoughts in two videos posted to Instagram Monday, Billboard reported. According to Master P, the parents of the victims should take some blame.
“Let me tell y’all -- y’all want me to be real? Because it might hurt some people’s feelings. I’ll tell y’all about R. Kelly,” he said in the first video. “So what I got -- Lifetime just made a lot of money ... that’s a reality show. Six seasons -- six episodes of that. Let’s be real. The truth is I don’t like the parents. If you somebody’s daddy and you knocking on doors, pitching at windows -- y’all know I ain’t gon’ be on no reality show or Lifetime. I’mma be on CNN, straight up. It’s gon get real. Think about it. I’m not about to play with nobody; I’mma burn it down, I’m gon’ do something.”
The father of nine went on to insinuate he would protect his children by any means. “You shouldn’t be on there unless you on CNN from a jail cell,” he said.
Despite how definitive Master P was about the parents of the victims, he was less clear on his stance on the allegations against Kelly.
“I don’t know if R. Kelly did it or not. That ain't any of my business,” he said. “I ain’t judging, but I’m just saying those parents shouldn't have let that go that far and they shouldn’t of been knocking on no windows and throwing no rocks if they know somebody in there with they kid.
“Now, if you got your kid and your kid comes out and wants to go back, that’s on them. At least I tried as a parent, but if my kid in there, it’s gonna be all-out war. Everybody coming outside, to be honest with you.”
“If somebody been saying all them allegations about him -- for one, my kid not even going up in there,” he said.
Kelly has repeatedly denied the accusations.
Related video: What You Need to Know: "Surviving R. Kelly" Allegations
The attorney for an alleged victim of Grammy Award-winning singer R. Kelly says the Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney has reached out to him, according to WSB-TV.
Attorney Gerald Griggs represents Joycelyn Savage's parents, Tim and Jonjelyn Savage.
“We have been contacted by the office and we are actively assisting in any way necessary," Griggs' PR representative Dontaye Carter said.
When asked whether the office has opened an investigation into the singer, DA spokesman Chris Hopper said he had “no comment at this time.”
The statement comes after a new docuseries on R. Kelly sparked outrage nationwide.
The three-night, six-part series “Surviving R. Kelly” aired Thursday through Saturday on Lifetime, immediately prompting controversy and a backlash against the entertainer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly.
Savage was one of several alleged victims whose story was part of the series.
Kelly’s other accusers from the docuseries include an anonymous former employee, Michelle Kramer, Alice and Angelo Clary and his ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones.
The Savages, the Clarys and Kramer each said their daughters had been “brainwashed” while living with Kelly. They said they hadn’t been in contact with their children for years.
The final episodes focused on Kelly’s alleged sex cult at two of his homes in two cities, including one in Johns Creek. The other home was in Chicago.
Kelly was evicted from two homes he was renting in Johns Creek, an Atlanta suburb in Fulton County.
Zachary Hansen with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network says calls to its national hotline have increased more than 20 percent since Lifetime aired “Surviving R. Kelly.”
The three-part docuseries aired Thursday through Saturday and looked at the exploitative patterns of abuse the R&B singer allegedly engaged in with underage girls.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline had 27 percent more calls on Thursday than the same day the week before, a RAINN spokesperson told The Daily Beast. The organization said hotline traffic typically increases when sexual abuse is in the news.
RAINN tweeted during the first night of the series, encouraging those who may need to talk to call the hotline.
“Watching or reading about ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ and need to talk? The National Sexual Assault Hotline is here 24/7—800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org.”
On Saturday night, Lifetime aired the last installments of “Surviving R. Kelly,” which made the singer a trending topic on Twitter yet again.
The conclusion of the three-night, six-part event delved into the singer’s history of alleged physical and emotional abuse of women. The final episodes focused on R. Kelly’s alleged sex cult at his homes in two cities, including one in metro Atlanta.
R. Kelly’s accusers, including an anonymous former employee; Michelle Kramer; Tim and JonJelyn Savage; Alice Clary and Angelo Clary; and his ex-girlfriends Kitti Jones and Asante McGee all detailed alleged abuse.
The Savages, the Clarys and Kramer each said their daughters had been “brainwashed” and were living with R. Kelly. They said they hadn’t been in contact with their children for years.
“There’s three drugs out there: crack, heroin and R. Kelly,” Kramer said.
During a trip to Los Angeles to film “Surviving R. Kelly,” Kramer found her daughter, Dominique Gardner, at a hotel. Although the hotel manager was initially cooperative by walking Kramer to her daughter’s hotel room, where the two reunited after being apart for a year, he later told Kramer she had to vacate the premises immediately. He said someone allegedly called the police on her for trespassing. However, Kramer secretly returned, and moments later, Gardner tearfully and willingly left the building with her mother with just a backpack.
“That was the hardest decision I ever had to make,” Gardner told her mother through tears.
As viewers watched the special, produced by Dream Hampton, they took to Twitter to post their thoughts. Several called R. Kelly a “predator” and a “monster.”
Many were concerned about the women who are allegedly still living with R. Kelly against their will. Both the Clarys, whose daughter is Azriel Clary, and the Savages, whose daughter is Joycelyn Savage, said they haven’t seen their children in three years despite their efforts.
Others commended the filmmakers for including a host of journalists, who spoke about R. Kelly’s legacy, as well as clinical psychologists, who explained the damaging effects of mental and physical abuse.
Folks also urged radio stations to no longer play the artist’s music as a part of the #MuteRKelly social media campaign, which seeks to stop his songs from being played and cancel his concerts.
And a few said they would still listen to R. Kelly’s music, because they believe he is innocent and talented.
Despite the accusations, R. Kelly is not facing any criminal charges and is not known to be under investigation. He has also denied all claims of sexual abuse.
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