Opinion: R Kelly was interviewed and things got weird

Abigail Bauman, Editor In Chief

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Robert Sylvester Kelly, better known by his stage name, R Kelly, sat down with CBS This Morning’s host, Gayle King. Let’s just say that things got really weird. For those who are unaware of who R Kelly is—although I have no idea how you wouldn’t know—he is a singer/songwriter and a former basketball player. In August of 1994, R Kelly married Aaliyah Dana Haughton, better known by her stage name of just Aaliyah. When they married, R Kelly was 27 years old and Aaliyah was only 15–sounds illegal right? Yeah, well, that is illegal, the way they got around this was by falsifying her age on the marriage documents. This was R Kelly’s first known relationship with an underaged female. Aaliyah later died in 2001 in a tragic plane crash.

The next incident was in 2000 when aspiring singer, Tiffany Hawkins claimed that R Kelly had a sexual relationship when she was 15 and he was 24; he was found not guilty. The most infamous incident was revealed a year later when a reporter received a sex tape involving R Kelly, urine, and a 14 year old girl. This tape was turned over to the police, and again, R Kelly was found not guilty. Several accusers came forward over the next few years only to either have R Kelly found not guilty or the case was settled out of court, most likely with a money deal. Recently a documentary was released where numerous women came forward to tell their story about the abuse they suffered from at the hands of R Kelly.

Kelly has recently been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Prosecutors say three of the four women were underage. If convicted, R Kelly could face a minimum of three years in prison per charge. R Kelly has, of course, pled not guilty to all charges.

So now this brings us back to what this story was originally supposed to be about, the interview. R Kelly was interviewed by Gayle King, a very experienced interviewer, which you could tell by how she stayed completely calm the whole time. King asked questions like if he had broken any laws or if he had done anything wrong. R Kelly calmly explained that he did not broken any laws and that he had done wrong things regarding relationships with women. He did not elaborate on what those “wrong things” were but he did say that he apologized to the women that he was in relationships with.

Next King explains that there were about 50 people interviewed in the documentary “Surviving R Kelly”, she asked Kelly if all of these people were lying. Kelly then goes on to say something that really bothered me. Kelly says that if you look at all the people in the documentary none of them had anything good to say about him. My question is why in the world would they say good things about him if they’re accusing him of heinous crimes? Why does he feel like for every accusation he also feels like these people should be telling him how amazing he is?

King next asks Kelly what we all were thinking, “Why would all these women tell these different stories about you if they were not true, and they don’t know each other?” This is when you can visibly see Kelly start to get heated. King then asks, “The point you’re making is, correct me if I’m wrong, that you’ve never held anybody against their will?” Kelly immediately starts responding, when King tries to re-ask her question he interrupts her. This is when Kelly starts ranting at the camera. He soon bursts into tears and starts walking around the room and yelling. Kelly’s posse had to calm him down. When King was asked if she felt unsafe at anytime she said that she had not.

Before I give my opinion I just need to say that King is an absolute legend for keeping calm and collected the entire time and not trying to yell over him or fight with him. So now you might be wondering what I think about this situation. The interview was weird and it made me uncomfortable but I also think that it helped me understand R Kelly a little more. I’m not sure if R Kelly actually harmed anyone. I know for a fact that he did marry a 15 year old which is incredibly inappropriate. I know that he allegedly urinated on a 14 year old girl. I know that he has many accusers but I don’t want to completely decide whether he’s 100% guilty or not until I’ve seen the full documentary and all the other facts of the cases against him. R Kelly is definitely at least guilty of some of these accusations but possibly not all of them.

What I did learn about R Kelly is that that he sincerely needs help. I believe that most of his life he’s been told by everyone around him that he’s amazing and that he could never do anything wrong. Now that he’s dealing with all of this he’s either realizing that the things he’s done are wrong or he’s telling himself that he hasn’t done anything wrong and everyone else is wrong. Now that he realizes that this isn’t a case he can pay his way out of and that he could be facing real prison time, I think he’s having a nervous breakdown. I hope that if R Kelly is found guilty, not only do his victims get closure but also that R Kelly gets mental help. If R Kelly is found not guilty, I really hope that he actually didn’t do anything wrong. R Kelly most likely has OJ syndrome and he could use some people around him that are actually honest with him.


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