Photo by Randee St. Nicholas
For years, R. Kelly has dodged questions about his long list of alleged sex crimes, but the legendary singer has spoken up about his rumored attraction to younger women, which first came to light after a sex tape surfaced of him having sex with a minor back in 2001.
“That’s a rumor that comes from the Earth, like all rumors… It’s not true,” he tells New York Magazine’s November 16 issue. “I love women, period. If I wasn’t a celebrity, people wouldn’t be saying these things about me.”
The singer also revealed that he’s aware of the divide among his fans, where some have stopped supporting the crooner after the allegations surfaced. “I’m going to always have the gift along with the curse,” he says. “I feel like I got a million people hating me, I’ve got maybe 8 million loving me. So I’ve got 9 million talking about me, and in a strange, magical way, it keeps me in the game.”
Interestingly, the publication also spoke with music journalist Jim DeRogatis, the former Chicago Sun-Times reporter who conducted extensive research into R. Kelly’s alleged sex crimes.
“People need to be aware of, given the subject matter of his art, what he is really about,” DeRogatis says. “You can despise the individual and appreciate the art, fine, but you need to be aware that you’re making a conscious decision to overlook some very, very bad behavior. You’re either ignorant of what he’s been charged of, or you’ve thought it through and said, ‘That all matters less to me than his cool grooves.’ What I want is for people to at least think about it.”
Meanwhile, Kelly’s thirteenth studio album, The Buffet, is scheduled to hit shelves on December 11.
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