Though it’s been seven years since his 2008 acquittal on fourteen counts of child pornography, R&B titan R. Kelly more or less still has a bit of a dark cloud over his head.
In a recent interview with New York Magazine, the “Switch Up” singer was asked about some of the allegations and rumors that have followed him since the surfacing of the 2002 video that shows a man alleged to be Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a reportedly underaged girl. Swaying between aloofness and defensiveness, Kelly gives a series of head-scratching answers.
Check out a snippet of the interview:
Do you have a sexual attraction to underage girls? I ask.
“That’s a rumor that comes from the Earth, like all rumors,” he says, sounding almost bored.
So it’s not true?
“No. It’s not true. I love women, period. If I wasn’t a celebrity, people wouldn’t be saying these things about me.”
How do you explain people close to you saying that you have a problem?
“I don’t know those people you’re talking about.”
I clarify: his brother, his ex-publicist, his former friend and longtime personal assistant.
“All those people have been fired by me. If you’re going to ask me these questions, you have to make sense out of it. It wasn’t until after they got fired that they said these things. Go figure. I got one life, and I don’t want to spend it talking about negativity. I’ve moved on. Maybe you haven’t.”
Despite his legal issues and public persona problems, Kelly has nonetheless proven to be a study in career perseverance, as the 48-year-old crooner has been able to release a slew of gold and platinum albums in the years following his acquittal.
His latest album, The Buffett, is scheduled to be released Dec. 11.