R&B singer R. Kelly defended his unusual relationship with two 20-something women in an explosive interview with Gayle King which aired Wednesday, March 6, on CBS This Morning. The troubled 52-year-old singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of three underage girls and an adult woman last month.
In his first interview since his arrest, the oversexed crooner confirmed he is involved in a relationship with two aspiring singers, Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, who both live with him in his $2 million Trump Tower apartment in Chicago, Illinois.
"I love them and it's almost, it's like they're my girlfriends," Kelly told King. "It's like, you know, we have a relationship. It's real."
Kelly justified his non-traditional relationship, saying, "I've known guys all my life that have 5 or 6 women."
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King asked Kelly to describe his relationship with Joycelyn Savage, whose parents insist she is being brainwashed by Kelly.
"I didn't go looking for a Joycelyn Savage" Kelly explained. "I was doing my show, [her father] brought her and asked a friend of mine to put her on the stage with R. Kelly," he said, referring to himself in the third person.
Azriel Clary also met Kelly at one of his concerts. Kelly said Clary's parents turned her over to him in exchange for money. He said her parents pulled the then 17-year-old onstage with him back in 2015.
He said Clary's parents told him they hoped she would become his musical protégé.
King asked Kelly to describe his relationship with Clary.
"Right now? I'm seeing her. She's 21, I'm seeing her," he replied.
He denied having a sexual relationship with Clary while she was a teenager.
"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Although her parents wanted me to."
King mentioned text messages that the parents claim proves he had sex with their daughter when she was only 17.
"Claim. Claim," said Kelly.
"So you're saying you did not have with her when she was 17?" asked King.
"Absolutely not!" said Kelly.
He said her parents were money hungry opportunists.
"What kind of father, what kind of mother, would sell their daughter to a man? How come it was ok for me to see them until they weren't getting no money from it?"
Kelly is currently out on $1 million bond. He lives with Clary and another of his girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, in a $2 million Trump Tower apartment in Chicago.