R. Kelly opened up during an in-depth interview with GQ where he revealed shocking information on his life including the sexual abuse he faced as a child and the curses on his family, to the allegations against Bill Cosby, his marriage to the late Aaliyah, and his being found not guilty on child pornography charges.
The singer spoke candidly with Chris Heath for the February 2016 issue of the magazine.
“As far as I can remember, about [age] 7 or 8 to maybe 14, 15. Something like that,” he recounted about when the abuse began at the hands of a relative. “Back then, too young to judge. As I’m older, I’ve only learned to forgive it. Was it wrong? Absolutely. But it’s a family member that I love so I would definitely say no to that one. To be honest, even if my mom, I saw her kill somebody, I’m not gonna say, ‘Well, yeah, she definitely should go to jail.’ It’s just something I wouldn’t do.”
Kelly grew up watching “The Cosby Show” and he said only God can tell him that the sexual assault accusations against the actor are true.
“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, 19, there’s something strange about it … 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.”
Kelly was indicted on charges of child pornography back in 2002 after a video surfaced showing him having sex with a female minor. He was arrested in 2003 on those charges and found not guilty in 2008. Numerous sexual abuse allegations with other minors have still surrounded him through the years.
“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,” he said. “And I think that a lot of haters out there wanted to see me go down.”
R. Kelly respectfully opened up about his past relationship with the late-singer, Aaliyah. While refraining from opening up about his marriage to-then a 15-year-old- Aaliyah out of respect for her sickly mother and deceased father, he described their relationship stemming from a deep friendship. “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,” he said.
The 49-year-old confirmed that he was in love with one of R&B’s iconic figures, and the feeling was mutual, “Well, there’s a lot of ways to be in love with a person. I was in love with my grandfather, you know. But yeah, I would say I was in love with Aaliyah just like I was in love with anybody else. But in a different, friend type of way.”
When it came time for the R&B crooner to open up about his scandalous marriage to Aaliyah, which was revealed in a Vibe magazine issue in 1995, he explained that her family asked him to not talk about their nuptials, “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.”
Read the full interview on GQ