Singer R. Kelly has blasted reports that suggest he's a monster in an explosive new TV interview.
The I Believe I Can Fly singer is fighting several charges of sexual abuse, kidnapping and underage sex, and his claims of innocence recently took a hit when the docu-series Surviving R. Kelly hit TV screens in America.
The project detailed decades of allegations against the R&B star.
But, in his first TV interview since his arrest on sexual assault charges last month (Feb19), Kelly told CBS This Morning he has been "assassinated" in the media.
During a fiery 80-minute sit down with Gayle King, which was recorded on Tuesday (05Mar19), he raged, "I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive. But I’m alive.
"I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids! And I can’t do it! Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth! You don’t want to believe it!"
When King asked Kelly if he had done anything illegal, he insisted none of the allegations against him would stick.
"Got little girls trapped in the basement, helicopters over my house trying to rescue someone that doesn’t need rescuing because they’re not in my house. Handcuffing people, starving people. I have a harem, what you call it - a cult. I don’t even really know what a cult is. But I know I don’t have one," he said.
He then turned on the Surviving R.Kelly docu-series, adding, "Everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said nothin’ good. They was describing Lucifer. I’m not Lucifer. I’m a man. I make mistakes, but I’m not a devil, and by no means am I a monster."
During the emotionally-charged interview, Kelly broke down and then started yelling as he stood and paced around the room, prompting a publicist to come over and try to calm him down.
Kelly continued, "You can start a rumour on a guy like me or a celebrity just like that. All you have to do is push a button on your phone and say, 'So and so did this to me, R. Kelly did this to me', and if you get any traction from that, if you’re able to write a book from that, if you’re able to get a reality show... then any girl that I had a relationship in the past that it just didn’t work out, she can come and say the same exact thing."
He also urged the public to stop and think about what has been said about him: "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," he raged. "How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I’ve been through - oh right, now I just think I have to be monster, and hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don’t let them eat, don’t let them out... Stop it. You all quit playing! Quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f**king life! Y’all killing me with this s**t!
"I gave you 30 years of my f**king career! Thirty years of my career! And y’all trying to kill me? You killing me, man! This is not about music!"
Meanwhile, lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is representing multiple people involved in the latest legal action against Kelly, attacked the singer over his interview antics.
"Key things we learned from the R. Kelly interview: 1. R Kelly is a much better singer than he is an actor; 2. He is desperate and distraught because he knows he has been caught. 3. He thinks sexual assault of young girls in the 'way way past' cannot be charged. 4. He is guilty," the legal eagle tweeted.
Avenatti's clients Alice and Angelo Clary have also been interviewed by King for the CBS morning show. Their segment will air on Friday (08Mar19).