R. Kelly is maintaining his innocence and yelling at the camera in an interview with Gayle King that airs Wednesday morning.
“I’m fighting for my (expletive) life,” the R&B musician says on “CBS This Morning,” in his first TV interview less than two weeks after being arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
In clips of the chat that were made available Tuesday night, the singer, 52, complains that people are “going back to the past,” to sexual assault cases where he was acquitted of wrongdoing, and “trying to add all of this stuff now to that,” he says. “You can’t double-jeopardy me like that.”
As for the new allegations, which King lists to Kelly in the interview, he says, “Not true. … I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me!”
King directly asks Kelly if he’s ever held a woman against her will.
His answer? “That’s stupid! Use your common sense.”
He continues, almost yelling, and then directly addresses the camera: “How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I’ve been through – ‘Oh right now I just think I need to be a monster, hold girls against their will.’ … Quit playing!”
Kelly was indicted last month after nearly two decades of allegations, one failed criminal trial, a surging #MuteRKelly campaign, a breakup with his recording label, and the airing of a Kelly-damning film series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” in January.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who discovered a sex tape cited in the singer’s indictment, took to Twitter after the clips aired, prompting his followers to “watch this please.”
“Importantly, R. Kelly does NOT deny sexually assaulting underage girls,” he tweeted Tuesday. “In fact, his answer demonstrates his guilt. He fails to understand that it doesn’t matter ‘how long ago’ it happened. And he also has no clue as to how ‘double jeopardy’ works.
In another tweet, Avenatti added that “R. Kelly’s tears are out of fear and despair.”
“He knows that after over two decades of sexually abusing underage girls, we blew this wide open and have him and his enablers dead to rights,” he wrote, adding the hashtag justice.
Contributing: Maria Puente, Cydney Henderson
Earlier: R. Kelly arrested, surrenders to Chicago police following sex abuse charges