R. Kelly explodes during interview, further damaging his reputation

By Peter Zemeske

Disgraced R&B star R. Kelly has brought himself further grief in addition to his sexual assault allegations filed against him after exploding in the March 8 interview with CBS’s Gayle King. The interview brought out an aggressive side of Kelly that startled viewers of the hour-long special.

Kelly denied all allegations and charges brought against him, claiming the women who accused him of sexual misconduct were former lovers seeking revenge. One of King’s first questions was if Kelly has had sexual relations with any underage girls, which Kelly vehemently denied. The evidence is stacked against Kelly in this regard; his first scandal broke when he married 15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton in 1994 when he was 27 years old. The marriage was eventually annulled in 1995 at the request of Haughton’s family. In more recent news, a tape showing Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a 14 year-old girl was turned over to prosecutors in Chicago. Kelly refused to address the tape in the interview.

A segment of Kelly’s outburst during the interview has since gone viral since its air date; Kelly becomes visibly irate and yells about his innocence with unsuccessful attempts by King to keep him calm. Kelly eventually returns to a better state after being calmed down by his crisis manager, Evan Nierman. The clip has quickly spread around the internet. The March 9 episode of Saturday Night Live opened with a spoof of the interview with Kelly and King played by Kenan Thompson and Leslie Jones, respectively. The clip currently has over 12 million views on YouTube.

The special also featured an interview with Kelly’s current girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, 23 and 21 years old, respectively. The girls defended Kelly despite the massive age difference between them. Kelly is 52 years old, and there are 29 and 31-years between the two women. Savage’s parents, Jonjelyn Savage and Tim Savage were also interviewed. Tim, 45, said he is distraught over his daughter’s relationship with Kelly. Joycelyn’s parents said they haven’t seen their daughter in over two years.

Kelly was arrested March 6 for failing to pay over $160,000 in child support to ex-wife Andrea Kelly, just hours after his interview aired on CBS. He was released March 9 after an unknown person paid the full amount.