Rapper French Montana is facing immense backlash after defending R. Kelly against renewed sexual misconduct allegations.
Kelly has been embroiled in controversy in the wake of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary. The six-part series detailed the decades of sexual misconduct allegations that have been levied against Kelly, and has reportedly already sparked one criminal investigation (and others may soon follow). But while many celebs have responded to the doc by calling for Kelly to be held responsible for his alleged actions, rapper French Montana seemed to defend Kelly — and his “legacy” — while speaking with TMZ on Sunday.
“They don’t let nobody have their legendary moments, man. I feel like they did Michael Jackson like that, they did R Kelly like that,” Montana said. “All the greats went down like that. Let somebody enjoy their legacy, man. Whatever happened, happened, man.”
“[He went] in the court of law and won,” he added.
Montana also suggested that Kelly’s music made his proclivities clear, with lyrics like, “my mind’s telling me no, but my body — my body’s telling me yes.”
Kelly was famously accused of having sex with an underage girl in 2002 after an anonymous source leaked a sex tape to the media. He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, but has been repeatedly accused of various forms of sexual misconduct throughout his career. Buzzfeed’s 2017 report alleging that Kelly was holding brainwashed young women captive in what’s been described as a “sex cult” reignited public interest in the allegations against Kelly, interest that seems to have reached a fever pitch following the conclusion of Lifetime’s shocking documentary, with celebrities and activists alike calling for the public to #MuteRKelly.
After facing considerable backlash on social media for his comments, Montana seemed to walk back his statement, writing on Twitter that his “heart is with the victims.”
“Let me be clear. My heart is with the victims,” he wrote. “I never thought the people I looked up to as a kid, who sang and danced and gave me hope to become a superstar would become drug addicts, child molesters and rapists. I am hoping we as a culture create better leaders. We need them.”
For Kelly, retribution has been swift and ongoing. Police in Georgia reportedly have launched a criminal investigation into the allegations against him, while authorities in Chicago made a public call for Kelly’s victims and anyone else who may have witnessed any criminal activity to reach out to law enforcement.
Many of Kelly’s peers in the entertainment industry have distanced themselves from him, as has his own (estranged) daughter, who described her father as a “monster” in an emotional social media statement.
Kelly, who has routinely denied the various allegations brought against him, has reportedly been suffering from panic attacks amid the increased scrutiny. His lawyer, meanwhile, has stated that none of the allegations against Kelly are true and called the Lifetime doc “disgusting.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
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