International Music superstar R kelly is pulling off the veil on his personal life and it’s indeed coming off big time!
Speaking in a tell- all interview with GQ in his home town Chicago, the Pop icon spoke without restrictions.
Excerpts from the interview:
Inability to Read
On his inability to read as a child: Other kids could read, other kids could write, other kids could spell, they could do math. I felt like an alien, I felt like an outcast. I felt like, ‘What is going to happen to me?’ My mother couldn’t answer it. My stepfather wasn’t really interested in it one way or another. And my brothers and sisters were so young at the time they wouldn’t do nothing but tease me about it. I was the ‘dummy’: ‘How you gon’ do this? You can’t even read!’
On still struggling with reading as an adult: Since my daughter showed me voice texts on my phone, I’ve gotten a lot better. I’m not a A student, I’m not even a B student, but I’ve gotten a lot better with the reading because of texts. And I can voice-text and say whatever I want to people. And then they text me back and I take my time and I can read through it.
Sexual Abuse as a Child
On hiding his sexual abuse from his mother: [I] put [it] so far in the back of my mind that I even forgot about it. As I got older, the more I just didn’t want it to be in my past. The more I became successful.
On one of his sexual abuse experiences: It was a crazy weird experience. But not a full-blown experience, because it didn’t go down. Contact sexual—no. A visual—absolutely. A visual from him showing me his penis and all that stuff.
On another sexual abuse that lasted years: I tried to push her away, but she wouldn’t stop until she was finished. When she was, she said, “You better not say shit to no one or else you gonna get a terrible whupping.” 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. It became a regular thing. Every other day, every other week. As far as I can remember, about [age] 7 or 8 to maybe 14, 15. Something like that.
On confronting the person: Maybe eight, nine years ago. Didn’t want to talk about it. Didn’t own up to it. Told me, ‘Sometime when you’re kids, you think you’ve been through something, or did something, that you didn’t do, probably was a dream.’ Things like that. But it was definitely not a dream.
On rumours he married Aaliyah when she was 15: 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 people still buying his records after the 2002 drama: I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I just think those people didn’t believe that nonsense. That’s what I think. And they said, ‘The hell with what other people are saying—we love R. Kelly, we believe R. Kelly, he was found innocent, he’s moving on with his life, he’s not letting that tear him down.’ I believe that’s what it was.
On being found not guilty: 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 the people who accused him being liars: All of them. And it wasn’t many. It wasn’t like it was a whole ton of people. But the people that did were absolutely lying. Absolutely.
On why they lied: Look, if I break up with a girl, and she don’t wanna break up, and I’m R. Kelly, she’s gonna be pissed. So pissed that she’s gonna go out there, she’s gonna say this, she’s gonna say that, she’s gonna say the other. And if she’s really pissed, whoever she said it to is gonna spread the rumor, and if the wrong people get ahold of that rumor, that’s gonna come out. If that come out, I gotta get a lawyer, and once I get that lawyer, that lawyer gonna tell me to shut up. Because no matter what you say, you’re gonna look bad. Okay, so now it goes from that to ‘Oh, they’re really serious, they want to sue you.’ What the lawyers tell me? ‘You should settle. Your album’s coming out. You have a GQ front cover coming out, you have BET next week, you have the Grammys coming up. Wrong or right, you can win the battle and lose the war. It’s on you, but that’s what we advise you to do.’ I go home, I think about all my hard work, I look at my studio, I look at my kids, I look at my wife at the time, or any other time, and I say, ‘I don’t want to settle.’ I want to fight because I know I’m right, I know I’m innocent, have nothing to hide—she wanted me, I wanted her, she was of age, I’m of age. But she’ll say, ‘Well, I didn’t meet him here, I met him then.’ That’s what they’re saying.
On life being unfair to him: I think, man, abso-effing-lutely I’ve been treated unfair. Yes. I’m not, you know, this innocent guy with a halo over his head. No, I love women. Do I like to sleep with underage girls? Absolutely not. I’ve said it a million times. But do I have people trying to destroy my career? Absolutely.
On his perspective of the situation: 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. Strange is strange. I can’t explain strange. That’s why strange is strange. Because it’s something we can’t explain.
On if the women are telling the truth: If God showed me that they were telling the truth, I would say that’s wrong. I don’t care if it was a zillion years ago. But God would have to do that, because God is the only one can show me that. No man can tell me that. No woman can tell me that. And when you wait 70 years, 50 years, 40 years, to say something that simple, it’s strange. You know why I say that is because it happened to me, and it wasn’t true.