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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

R Kelly forcefully denies sexual abuse allegations after arrest

The R&B star is charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, involving four victims, three of whom were underage

Musician R Kelly arrives at the Daley Center for a hearing in his child support case on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Chicago. The singer was charged last month with sexually abusing four females dating back to 1998, including three underage girls. He's pleaded not guilty. Chicago Sun-Times via AP
Musician R Kelly arrives at the Daley Center for a hearing in his child support case on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Chicago. The singer was charged last month with sexually abusing four females dating back to 1998, including three underage girls. He's pleaded not guilty. Chicago Sun-Times via AP

In a tearful and heated interview, R&B singer R Kelly vehemently denied allegations of sexual abuse, breaking the silence for the first time since he was arrested.

"I didn't do this stuff. This is not me," he told CBS This Morning, adding that he is "fighting for my life".

Chicago prosecutors have charged the singer with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, involving four victims, three of whom were underage.

Buzzfeed News published an article in July 2017 where three sets of parents claimed that Mr Kelly was holding their daughters in an abusive “cult”.

Responding to the cult allegations, the rapper said: "Oh my God. Um – all of them, 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," adding, "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."

In the CBS interview with host Gayle King, Mr Kelly strongly denied breaking any laws when it came to women and denied he had had sex with anyone under the age of 17.

“I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive, but I’m alive,” he said.

Mr Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is currently out on bail. This case follows a 2002 trial, where the singer faced 21 counts of child pornography, stemming from a sex tape with a girl who was allegedly underage. Prosecutors could not prove the girl was a minor, so Mr Kelly was not convicted.

The singer has been in the spotlight since the 1990s, but scrutiny was reignited in January when a six-part documentary called Surviving R Kelly aired on US television. Over 50 women, some of whom were close to the star, were interviewed in the documentary, claiming he had abused them.

Mr Kelly himself was a victim of sexual abuse when he was a child, detailing in his autobiography how he was raped by a female family member when he was eight years old.

Updated: March 7, 2019 03:07 AM

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