R. Kelly had a rather ‘rough’ interview with The Huffington Post earlier this year and walked out when he was confronted with questions he wasn’t prepared to answer.
The R&B star thankfully got a little more open and honest in a candid interview with Chris Heath for GQ magazine.
The interview starts with the following disclaimer:
This is a story about an entertainer named R. Kelly. It is a story about the remarkable, but also very strange, pop talent he has. It is a story about the difficult places he came from and the ways they may, or may not, have shaped who he has become. It is also the story of a man who has been publicly accused of multiple sexual offenses with underage women, and who stood trial for making child pornography. He was eventually acquitted of that charge, and his career has continued uninterrupted, but for the most part he has evaded even the most basic questions that might help people understand what is true about him.
For this story, R. Kelly agreed to speak about his whole life without restrictions. We met three times over three days in his hometown of Chicago. The second and third meetings were at his favorite cigar bar. The first meeting was on the ninety-ninth floor of the Sears Tower.
From there, R. Kelly opened about his love for Aaliyah, being found ‘not guilty,’ being sexually abused as a child and more.
Check out a few excerpts:
On Not Having His Father Around: “That’s the one thing. If I could change anything, I would definitely have had a father around. My father. I would definitely say it affected me deeply as a young man, coming up. Who doesn’t want a father? Those are the beginnings, and those are what can dictate the roads you choose in life, and choosing them well. And it affected me.”
On Being Sexually Abused as a Child: “At first, I couldn’t judge it. I remember it feeling weird. I remember feeling ashamed. I remember closing my eyes or keeping my hands over my eyes. I remember those things, but couldn’t judge it one way or the other fully.”
On His Relationship with Aaliyah and reports they got married: “Uh, I would describe it as best friends. Deep friends. As far as we both loved music and wanted to be successful. She’s a Capricorn, I’m a Capricorn, my momma a Capricorn, her daddy’s a Capricorn, you know. It was just so much in common with each other. Yes. I would say I loved ‘liyah. Well, because of Aaliyah’s passing, as I’ve always said, out of respect for her mother who’s sick and her father who’s passed, I will never have that conversation with anyone. Out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father who has asked me not to personally. But I can tell you I loved her, I can tell you she loved me, we was very close. We were, you know, best best best best friends.”
On is Acquittal: “Well, to be honest with you, man…however, whatever, whenever. When a person is found not guilty, they’re found not guilty. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a murder case, it doesn’t matter what case it is, when they’re found not guilty, they’re not guilty. And I think that a lot of haters out there wanted to see me go down.”
On That Video of Him (Allegedly) Pissing on an Underage Girl: “Because of my lawyers, to this day I cannot have those kind of conversations. Being advised by my lawyers in this. Because they could come back to haunt me. Things could come back and they can just restart all over again. And I have to protect myself.”
On His Negative Image: “It made me feel terrible. But now I, honestly, don’t think about it or could care one way or the other what people think about me. I have fans and I have family that love me, and I have my music, and I have my breath going in and out. I’m more than okay with who I am and who I have become today as a man, and I’m just moving on with my life, man, doing this music. I’m good.”
On Bill Cosby: “Well, my opinion on that is, I don’t know what happened. I’m a fan of Bill Cosby’s from ‘The Bill Cosby Show,’ of course—who’s not?—and for me to give my opinion on something that I have no idea if it’s true or not, all I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there’s something strange about it. That’s my opinion. It’s just strange.”
You can read the full interview over at GQ.