Embattled R&B star R. Kelly has sensationally claimed that the parents of his girlfriends "sold" their daughters to him.

The Ignition (Remix) singer hit headlines in 2017 when the parents of Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, accused him of "brainwashing" their daughters and keeping them as sex slaves in a "cult" against their will at his home in Chicago, Illinois.

In an emotional and dramatic interview with CBS This Morning on Wednesday (06Mar19), his first since being charged and briefly jailed on 10 felony aggravated sex abuse charges, the 52-year-old laid the blame with the parents and said they sold their daughters to him.

"What kind of love is it that keeps these young women away from their families?" news anchor Gayle King asked, to which he countered, "What kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?"

"How come it was OK for me to see them until they wasn't getting no money from it? If I'm gonna take my daughter and she's 19 years old to a 49-year-old icon, whatever, celebrity, R. Kelly concert, I'm not gonna put her on the stage and leave her, I would take her to the concert. Their fathers' more into my music and knew more music than they do."

"So you're saying the parents handed their daughters, Azriel and Jocelyn, over to you? Is that what you're saying?" King asked, to which Kelly said, "Absolutely. Are the cameras still going? Absolutely."

The singer met Savage when her father brought her along to his concert when she was 19 and asked for her to be put on stage with Kelly, while he pulled Clary up on stage during a 2015 gig when she 17.

When King noted the significant age difference, he said, "I don't look at 'much younger than me'. I just look at 'legal.'" He also denied claims that he slept with Clary when she was 17, saying, "Absolutely not, although her parents wanted me to."

Via their lawyer, parents Alice and Angelo Clary issued a statement denying ever receiving or asking for money from the singer, who they describe as a "desperate liar". Timothy and Jonjelyn are set to respond to the interview in a press conference on Wednesday.

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