Known as one of music’s most vocal feminist icons, Lady Gaga has apologised for working with R. Kelly, an R&B singer who has been accused of predatory behaviour and paedophilia. Gaga has also pledged to remove their collaborative 2013 single Do What You Want (With My Body) from streaming services. At the time, Kelly had stood trial in Chicago on multiple charges of child pornography but was acquitted.
Gaga refused to appear in a recent documentary which chronicles the allegations of abuse, claims Kelly vehemently denies. “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” Gag said in a statement on Twitter. “The song is called Do What U Want (With My Body), I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” she continued. “I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain…I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
Kelly married 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 when he was 27-years-old. His abuse of young black girls has since been well-documented. But in the new damning documentary Surviving R. Kelly, 54 women have come forward with their stories. John Legend was the only well-known musician to appear in the documentary, and has openly talked about how his involvement was never ever a question. “I don’t give a f**k about protecting a child rapist,” he said, also noting he believes every single one of the women who have come forward with allegations.