Lady Gaga is adding her voice to the chorus of artists denouncing R. Kelly by issuing an apology for her 2013 collaboration with the controversial R&B singer and vowing to never work with him again.
Kelly was featured on Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want (With My Body)” and the two performed the song together during an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” as well as at the American Music Awards in 2013 — decisions Lady Gaga now regrets, she explained in a Twitter statement issued early Thursday.
“I stand by these women 100%,” Gaga wrote following the release of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary. The six-part series detailed the accusations of numerous women who claim to have been victimized by Kelly, who was famously accused in 2002 of appearing in a sex tape with an underage girl. He was acquitted of all charges in 2008, but many have accused him of continuing to prey on young girls.
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” she wrote. “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”
She said the title of the song makes it “clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
Lady Gaga opened up in 2015 about being a survivor of sexual assault, having been raped by a man 20 years older than her several years prior. Her 2015 hit “Til It Happens To You” — a song she co-wrote with legendary songwriter Diane Warren — dealt with her feelings as a survivor, and was used in “The Hunting Ground,” an award-winning documentary on campus rape.
In her post on Thursday, she described herself as being in a “confused post-traumatic state” during the time she worked with Kelly, and said that she wished she could go back and encourage herself to seek therapy or another type of help.
“I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels,” she wrote.
She then announced that she will remove the song from iTunes and all other streaming platforms and stated that she will “not be working with [Kelly] again.”
“I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking sooner,” her statement reads. “I love you.”
Lady Gaga is one of numerous celebrities who declined an offer to be interviewed for the Lifetime doc, something that the project’s producer, dream hampton, said that she did not understand.
“I wanted to know how Lady Gaga could be on ‘SNL’ with him as someone who advocates for domestic abuse survivors and ... you know, had this ridiculous performance with him on ‘SNL,’” hampton said during an interview with SiriusXM’s “The Karen Hunter Show” on Monday, according to Fox News.
Kelly has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct, and is reportedly planning to fire back at his accusers by launching a website called “Surviving Lies.” The site is not up yet, and a Facebook page of the same name that contained posts smearing his accusers was quickly deactivated.
Websites and Facebook pages aside, Kelly may soon be facing legal ramifications for his alleged actions. Authorities in Georgia have reportedly launched a criminal investigation into his alleged activities, while prosecutors in Chicago have publicly encouraged other potential victims and witnesses to come forward with what they know so that they can do the same. Kelly may be facing trouble in Florida as well, after Angelo Clary, a man who has claimed that Kelly is holding his daughter captive, called for authorities in his state to pursue an investigation into Kelly.
[Photo: Getty images]
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