Two women whose families say they are being controlled by singer R. Kelly have spoken out in his defense in an interview with CBS.
One of those women, Azriel Clary, says Kelly did not know she was underage when they met.
“…He thought I was 18,” Clary, 21, told Gayle King in an interview that aired Thursday morning on CBS.
Kelly told King that Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Clary are his “girlfriends.”
Attorneys for both women’s families say Kelly is controlling their daughters.
“Both our parents are out here trying to get money and scam … they’re just very upset,” Savage told King.
The attorneys for both families say they have never asked for or received any money from Kelly. The parents of the two women also deny they sold their daughters to him.
On Wednesday, the Savage family spoke to their daughter by phone in a conversation that was recorded on video and released on Facebook. The family says they had not spoken to her in two years and she is being held against her will.
After her mother says hello, Joycelyn replies, “I just wanna let you know, like right now I need you to listen, like really listen to me, I have told you guys a million million times that I am OK where I am and I am happy.”
The conversation between King and Kelly is his first TV interview since he was charged with sexual abuse last month.
It was first teased Tuesday night and aired in part Wednesday morning.
Later on Wednesday, Kelly was taken into custody for failure to pay child support and is expected to be jailed overnight, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Chicago.
Kelly owes $161,000, according to the sheriff’s office.
Supporters are working to get Kelly out of jail by next week, publicist Darrell Johnson told reporters.
Kelly ranted, cried and claimed he was being persecuted in other excerpts of the interview released Wednesday.
“I’m very tired of all of the lies,” Kelly said. “I’ve been hearing things and seeing things on all of the blogs and I’m just tired.”
Kelly said those lies include that he’s holding women against their will and that he has a “cult.”
Kelly was indicted last month on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse — a class 2 felony — involving four alleged victims.
The indictment accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13 but younger than 17. There is no age range listed for one of the alleged victims. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force.
Kelly has denied the charges, and his attorney, Steve Greenberg, has said his client is innocent.
“I think all the women are lying,” Greenberg said after Kelly turned himself in to police last month.
The latest charges against the singer span from 1998 to 2010, according to Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Kelly told King he has done quite a few things wrong in relationships but said he has apologized to women for those.