CBS revealed clips of the interview, set to debut in full on Wednesday morning. This is the first time the R&B singer has appeared for an on-camera interview since he was arrested in February on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, three of whom say they were minors at the time.
When King asked him, “Do you still sit here and say you have never been with underage girls? Can you really say that?” he replied that things he’s done in the past are no longer relevant to his most recent abuse allegations, and denied holding any women against their will.
“The accusations are lies,” he said.
“I will tell you this. People are going back to my past. That’s exactly what they’re doing and they’re trying to add all of this stuff now to that, to make all of this stuff that’s going on now feel real to people,” Kelly added.
When King told the singer that his past behavior “with underage girls” is relevant, Kelly replied, “Absolutely not. It’s not.”
“For one, I beat my case,” he said. “When you beat something, you beat it. You can’t double jeopardy me like that. It’s not fair.”
Kelly was emphatic when King pushed him further on whether he held women captive.
“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 someone, let alone, four, five, six ― 50 you said ― how stupid would I be to do that?” he asked in frustration.
“That’s stupid!” he added. “Use your common sense. 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.”
Kelly eventually broke into tears while pleading to the camera.
“I didn’t do this stuff,” he said. “This is not me. I’m fighting for my fucking life!”
The singer pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of sexual abuse in late February.