A story published today by GQ attempted to get R. Kelly to answer questions about his alleged marriage to a 15 year-old Aaliyah and the repeated accusations that he has had sex with minors. (New York Magazine also ran a similar story recently.)
While Kelly admits that he loved Aaliyah, he provides a caveat, suggesting “there's a lot of ways to be in love with a person. I was in love with my grandfather.” He refuses to address the suggestion that he married her—“I will never have that conversation with anyone”—and denies any wrongdoing: “Absolutely not. That's my answer forever: Absolutely not.”
The writer also asks Kelly directly about the video that sent him to trial on charges of child pornography. But the singer responds, “Because of my lawyers, to this day I cannot have those kind of conversations.” He quickly dismisses other accusations of sex with underaged women: “the people that did [accuse me] were absolutely lying.” “I know I'm right,” he adds. “I know I'm innocent, have nothing to hide—she wanted me, I wanted her, she was of age, I'm of age… Do I like to sleep with underage girls? Absolutely not. I've said it a million times. But do I have people trying to destroy my career? Absolutely.”
In the most surprising moment of the interview, Kelly voices his support for Bill Cosby unprompted. “When my kids were born, I was Bill Cosby in the house,” he notes. When the surprised writer presses Kelly for his opinion of Cosby, the singer declares, “I’m a fan of Bill Cosby’s from the Bill Cosby show, of course—who’s not?—and for me to give my opinion on something that I have no idea if it's true or not, all I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there's something strange about it. That's my opinion. It's just strange.”
“Strange is strange,” he continues. “I can’t explain strange. That’s why strange is strange. Because it’s something we can't explain. If God showed me that they were telling the truth, I would say that’s wrong… But God would have to do that, because God is the only one can show me that. No man can tell me that. No woman can tell me that. And when you wait 70 years, 50 years, 40 years, to say something that simple, it’s strange. You know why I say that is because it happened to me, and it wasn’t true.”
A representative of Kelly did not immediately return FADER's request for comment. Read the whole story here.