Two women living with R. Kelly are defending the R&B superstar charged with sexual abuse, saying in an interview aired Thursday that their relationships with him are consensual.
Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, told the US television network CBS that they “absolutely” are in love with Kelly, brushing off allegations that the 52-year-old artist brainwashes women he keeps in homes that operate as de facto sex cults.
“We live with him, and we’re in a relationship with him,” Clary said of Kelly, who returned to jail Wednesday for failing to pay child support.
“A very strong relationship as well,” added Savage.
Questioned on the nature of their sex lives with Kelly, Clary said “I would never share with no one what I do in or outside of the bedroom.”
“There are people all over the world who have multiple girlfriends,” she said. “It’s no different.”
Last month Kelly — dogged for decades by allegations including child pornography, sexual abuse and false imprisonment — pleaded not guilty in Chicago to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse against four victims, three of them minors.
Detroit police disclosed Thursday that they also were investigating an allegation of a 2001 sexual assault involving a 13-year-old.
The criminal cases are not linked to women Kelly currently lives with.
In 2017, a BuzzFeed report alleged the musician had kept women as virtual sex slaves at his Chicago and Atlanta homes.
Clary and Savage dubbed accusations against Kelly money-making schemes.
But Clary’s parents released a statement shortly after the interview aired saying their daughter “is presently suffering from years of mental abuse and manipulation by R. Kelly.”
“R. Kelly is a desperate liar and serial abuser of young girls who should die in prison,” said the statement tweeted by lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents at least two of Kelly’s alleged victims.
“All of the victims and parents cannot be lying.”
CBS released the interview with the two women after airing an emotional sit-down with Kelly himself, his first public comments since the indictment against him.
“I didn’t do this stuff. This not me,” Kelly said, saying he was “fighting” for his life.
“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true.”
Kelly — the star behind hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” — remains in custody in Chicago after failing to pay $161,000 in child support payments he owes to his former spouse and three children.
Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly also has previously accused the artist of domestic abuse.