R. Kelly’s girlfriends have spoken out in his defense in an interview that will be aired on Friday where one of the women called anyone who believed they were being held against their will ‘stupid’.
Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, spoke to Gayle King in their first joint interview since their families made public appeals for them to come home.
Both women met Kelly, 52, as teenagers at concerts and they have been living with him for the last several years without having any contact with their families.
Joycelyn spoke out once in the past to dismiss her parents’ claim that Kelly was keeping her in a sex cult.
Their most recent interview comes after Kelly was arrested for child sex abuse and rape. He is facing 70 years behind bars if convicted. Neither Joycelyn nor Azriel is involved in the case.
Azriel, who was 17 when she met the singer at a concert which her parents took her to, cried as she insisted she was in a consensual relationship.
‘I am crying because you guys don’t know the truth and you guys believe in some f*****g facade that our parents are saying for money and if you can’t see that then you’re ignorant and you’re stupid!’ she yelled while Joycelyn patted her back.
Their interview with Gayle King will air on CBS on Friday.
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Azriel Clary, 21, (left) and Joycelyn Savage, 23, (right) spoke out in their first interview together to defend R. Kelly and insist they are not being held against their will
It follows an explosive interview the singer himself gave to King that was aired on Wednesday.
During his sit-down, he made the outrageous claim that the women’s parents ‘sold’ them to him when they were teenagers and that they are only speaking out because they want money from him.
After Kelly’s interview aired, Joycelyn’s parents held a press conference where they said they were ‘disturbed’ by his remarks.
‘We watched it as a family. It’s disturbing. It’s emotionally disturbing for all of us. I sit there and I want to not just pray for my daugher but pray for Mr. Kelly to get some kind of healing,’ Timothy Savage, Joycelyn’s father, said.
Joycelyn’s mother, Jonjelyn, said watching his interview with King made her fear for her daughter’s safety.
‘I can only imagine what he does behind closed doors when there’s no cameras.
Clary called anyone who believed they were being held hostage ‘stupid’ and ‘ignorant’
Joycelyn comforted Azriel in their interview. Both women met him in 2015 and have been living with him for the last several years
Azriel, left, was 17 when R. Kelly pulled her on stage at a concert in 2015. Joycelyn, right, was 19 when she was flown to attend one of his shows with her mother
‘He has, allegedly, a bad temper. He’s very controlling. When the girls don’t do something or say something that he likes, he throws a rage and becomes physically violent,’ she said.
Joycelyn’s sister maintains, as her family has said before, that she is being forced to speak publicly in support of him.
‘She would have called home by now. She would have called my mum, my dad, her little sister, anybody. I know for a fact my sister is not OK.
‘R. Kelly is mentally destroying her. I just want her home. He has put a lot of things in her head that makes her think that the world, not just the family, but the world is out to get her which is not true.
‘I just want her home and safe. I want to know that she’s OK,’ she said.
King asked him: ‘What kind of love is it that keeps these young women away from their families?’
Joycelyn’s parents held a press conference on Wednesday morning to say R. Kelly’s comments were ‘disturbing’. They believe she has been brainwashed into publicly supporting him
Azriel’s parents appeared in the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly to tell of their family’s struggle to regain contact with her. Azriel met the singer when her father took her to a concert and allowed her to go on stage with him in 2015
He gave the shocking answer: ‘I’m going answer your question – what kind of father, what kind of mother would sell their daughter to a man?’
Stunned, King asked: ‘How come it was okay for me to see them until they wasn’t getting no money from me?
‘Why would you take your daughter – if I were going to take my daughter and she’s 19 years old to a 49-year-old icon whatever, celebrity, R. Kelly concert, whoever it is, I’m not going to put her on the stage and leave her.
‘I’m going to take her to the concert.
‘Their father is more into my music and knew about my music than they do,’ he said.
He said that he, Joycelyn and Azriel were all in a relationship together and that while they are much younger than he is, he is focused only on the fact that they are ‘legal’.
‘I don’t look at much younger than me, I just look at legal. I just look at you’re you and I am me.
‘Now I don’t know if you’re married, I don’t know one might be older than the other, one might be younger than the other. I just look at legal, OK.
‘There are older men who like younger women and older women who like younger men.
Kelly lost his composure elsewhere during the interview and stood up in a fit of emotion, towering over Gayle King
Kelly stamped his feet and screamed while King remained composed in her seat
The singer needed to be restrained by his publicist at one point while King sat calmly in her chair
Once back in his chair, Kelly continued to rant into the camera but was redirected by King who told him: ‘We have to have a conversation. I do not want you ranting into the camera, Robert’
‘I am an older man who loves all women,’ he said, adding that he knew men who had ‘five or six women’.
He said he ‘absolutely’ had not had sex with Azriel when she was 17 or any other minor.
Kelly’s stance is that all of his accusers and their parents are lying.
‘They’re lying on me… You can start a rumor about a guy like me or a celebrity just like that.
‘All you have to do is press a button on your phone and say, “so and so did this to me. R Kelly did this to me.”
‘If you get any traction from that, if you are able to write a book from that, if you can get a reality show then any girl that I had a relationship with in the past that it just didn’t work out, she can come and say the same exact thing.
‘I’m talking about the power of social media,’ he said.
He believes that they are financially motivated and that their stories have been fed by social media.
He also thinks prosecutors are eager to put him behind bars after failing to convict him on child pornography charges in 2008.
‘How stupid would it be for R. Kelly, with all I’ve been through in my way, way past, to hold somebody, let alone 4, 5, 6, 50, you said – how stupid would I be to do that?’
‘That’s stupid! Use your common sense.
‘Forget the blogs, forget how you feel about me.
‘Hate me if you want to, love me if you want. But just use your common sense.
‘How stupid would it be for me, with my crazy past and what I’ve been through – oh right now I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don’t let them eat, don’t let them out, unless they need some shoes down the street from their uncle!’ he said.
He said he is no longer fighting for his career (but still wants people to buy his music) and is now desperate to salvage his relationship with his children.
In an unhinged monologue to the camera where he stood up, screamed and had to be restrained, he said: ‘Quit playing, I didn’t do this stuff.
‘This is not me. I’m fighting for my f*****g life! Y’all killing me with this s**t! I’ve given you 30 years of my f****g career! 30 years of my career! Y’all trying to kill me! You’re killing me man!
‘This is not about music! I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids and I can’t do it! Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth . Y’all don’t want to believe it.’
King, who has been applauded for his composed demeanor and tough line of questioning during his outburst and throughout the interview, remained seated, encouraging him to calm down.
King told Kelly at points during the interview that he was playing the victim and that he was hard to believe
The 52-year-old wept into his hands, said he had been ‘assassinated’ and insisted he was telling the truth
After a brief pause, he continued back in his chair: ‘This is not true! It doesn’t even make sense! Why would I hold all these women! Their mothers and fathers told me, “We’re going to destroy your career.”
‘There’s real girls out there missing, there’s real young girls out there being abducted, being raped, OK. They really are on chains. They really do have chains on their wrists.
Prosecutors say Kelly’s alleged victims include a teenager he met when she sought an autograph during his 2008 trial on child pornography charges, another he met at her 16th-birthday party and his hairdresser, who was then 24. Kelly’s Feb. 22 mug shot is seen above
‘And they can’t get out and they ending up buried,’ he said.
King, redirecting him, said she was not going to allow him to ‘rant into the camera.’
‘I came here for them to hear me talk!’ he protested, adding: ‘I need help.
‘I need somebody to help me not have such a big heart. Because my heart is so big people betray me and I keep forgiving em,’ he cried.
King, without missing a beat, told him he sounded like he was ‘playing the victim.’
He cried into his hands in response and said: ‘I’m just telling the truth! And the reason I’m emotional is because this is the first time I was able to say something. I have said nothing!’
Kelly also said that he had been ‘assassinated’ and ‘buried alive’, adding proudly: ‘But I’m still alive.’
Despite claiming that he has done nothing illegal or wrong, he admitted that if his daughter alleged against another man what he is accused of doing himself he would be so enraged he would not be able to control himself.
‘I would have to arrest myself after I did what I had to do,’ he said.