R. Kelly Talks About His Own Childhood Sexual Abuse

Singer opens up, somewhat, in 'GQ' interview
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2016 11:33 AM CST
R. Kelly Talks About His Own Childhood Sexual Abuse
In this June 30, 2013, file photo, R. Kelly performs onstage at the BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

For what may be the first time, R. Kelly agreed to a (mostly) no-holds-barred interview in which everything was on the table—his rumored marriage, at age 27, to 15-year-old Aaliyah; the accusations of child porn and sexual offenses against other underage girls; and his own sexual abuse as a child, which he first revealed in his 2012 memoir. He says in the GQ interview that a female relative molested him "every other day, every other week" from the time he was 7 or 8 until he was 14 or 15. "As I'm older, I look at it and I know that it had to be not just about me and them, but them and somebody older than them when they were younger, and whatever happened to them when they were younger," he says. "I looked at it as if there was a sort of like, I don't know, a generational curse, so to speak, going down through the family. Not just started with her doing that to me."

But when it comes to the accusations against him, Kelly is less forthcoming: He won't confirm whether he and Aaliyah were married or in a sexual relationship (because she's no longer here to speak for herself) and he won't confirm whether it's him in the 2002 sex tape that got him put on trial for child porn (his lawyers have advised him not to say anything about it, all these years later). He does offer two unequivocal "absolutely not" answers—once when asked whether he enjoys urinating on a woman as part of sex, as the man in the aforementioned sex tape is shown doing, and once when insisting, "Do I like to sleep with underage girls? Absolutely not." Circling back to his comment about child molestation being a "generational curse," Kelly insists he managed to break the curse in his own life. Oh, and he mentions the Bill Cosby scandal, too. The full interview is here. (Read more R. Kelly stories.)

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