shot by Sebastian Kim
R. Kelly spoke candidly with GQ about being sexually abused as a child and his thoughts on accusations against Bill Cosby.
Though R. Kelly details his traumatic and confusing encounters with a family friend in his 2012 memoir, Soulacoaster, during his GQ interview, Kelly refers to her as a relative, describing the abuse as happening regularly, “every other day, every other week” for multiple years growing up: “As far as I can remember, about [age] 7 or 8 to maybe 14, 15. Something like that.” Looking back on it, does he wish she had been held accountable for what she did to him? “Back then, too young to judge,” says Kelly. “As I’m older, I’ve only learned to forgive it. Was it wrong? Absolutely. But it’s a family member that I love so I would definitely say no to that one. To be honest, even if my mom, I saw her kill somebody, I’m not gonna say, ‘Well, yeah, she definitely should go to jail.’ It’s just something I wouldn’t do.”
In the aftermath of a fatherless childhood, Kelly says that when his kids were born he “was Bill Cosby in the house. You know, the good one.” But how does Kelly feel about Bill Cosby now? “Well, my opinion on that is, I don’t know what happened. 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, 19, there’s something strange about it… If God showed me that they were telling the truth, I would say that’s wrong. I don’t care if it was a zillion years ago. 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.”
Full Story: GQ