A former member of R. Kelly’s inner circle abruptly resigned while telling the media that he would “absolutely not” trust his daughter alone with the embattled singer.
Darryl Johnson, who operated as the “Bump N’ Grind” singer’s crisis manager — the one who famously calmed Kelly down as he was coming apart during his own interview with Gayle King a few months ago — told “CBS This Morning” that he’d never leave his daughter with someone who is accused of pedophilia.
“That doesn’t seem like a contradiction to you?” King asked after his surprising answer. “You’re defending R. Kelly but at the same time, saying you wouldn’t leave your own daughter with him?”
“I wouldn’t leave my daughter with anyone,” Johnson responded, trying to mop up his answer. “I’ll say it again, (anyone) that’s accused of being a pedophile.”
Kelly is accused of being a serial pedophile along with a host of other state and federal felony charges that could land him in jail for life. He is being held without bail in federal confinement as he shuffles between Chicago and New York and is only allowed to leave his cell to see the judges until his trials are underway.
Because of this, Johnson said he is very concerned about R. Kelly’s deteriorating mental health. The 52-year-old “Step in the Name of Love” crooner has very few privileges and cannot even take his mind away from his current string of problems by reading because he is illiterate.
What is [R. Kelly’s] mental health? Are you concerned about him?
"Absolutely, I am concerned about Mr. Kelly."
Is he under suicide watch?
"I would assume at this point he is. Mr. Kelly’s a mess." — R. Kelly's crisis manager Darrell Johnson pic.twitter.com/d6jfgET9VH
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 22, 2019
Later, Johnson admitted that his answer did not come off right about R. Kelly and his daughter.
“I wouldn’t be here if I did not think Kelly was innocent,” he explained to USA Today in a statement. “I should have worded it better. I would leave my daughter with Kelly because I do not believe he is a pedophile.”
Johnson also told the newspaper his decision to leave “has nothing to do with Mr. Kelly it’s for my (own) person(al) reasons.”
Kelly’s defense team also stepped up publicly to deny in a statement that there was any discord between Johnson and Kelly’s lawyers, or that he’s being forced out.
“To clear up any confusion, Darryl Johnson is a crisis manager who has been assisting us, and will continue to assist us. He is not a PR person, he is not a spiritual advisor. He has the full confidence of the defense team,”
— Steve Greenberg (@SGcrimlaw) July 22, 2019
The statement from the lawyers has since been deleted, but screen captured by USA Today.