In Depth

R Kelly’s ‘I admit’: what are the accusations and what has he said?

Pop star releases 19-minute track admitting to infidelity but not paedophilia

Pop star R Kelly has responded to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him by releasing a 19-minute song titled “I admit”.

Beginning line after line with “I admit...” the singer confesses to a multitude of acts, including infidelity, sleeping with his girlfriend's best friend, having sexual relationships with fans and going to strip clubs every week.

“I admit I was in my own way,” he sings.

But while the track - posted on the R&B star's SoundCloud page on Monday - admits to infidelity it “denies allegations of paedophilia and non-consensual sex”, reports the BBC.

What is R Kelly accused of?

Kelly's long history of accusations of inappropriate relations with young women date back to 1994, when the singer was 27 years old and illegally married his 15-year-old protege, singer Aaliyah. The marriage was annulled after Aaliyah's family became aware of it, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Then in 1996, Tiffany Hawkins sued the singer and his management, “claiming personal injuries and emotional damage arising from what she alleged was a sexual relationship she had with Kelly that began when she was 15”, reports CNN.

That case was settled out of court - but in 2002, Kelly was indicted on child pornography charges for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with an unidentified underage girl. The case went to trial in 2008 and he was acquitted.

Last year he was accused of “brainwashing” women and forcing them to live under a strict set of rules in properties he manages in Atlanta and Chicago, according to an investigation by BuzzFeed News.

Three former members of Kelly's inner circle also provided details of the living conditions the women are said to be staying in.

“He controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records,” BuzzFeed News says.

What does he say in the song?

Acknowledging he's “made some mistakes” and has “imperfect ways,” Kelly also says he tried to help others in the music industry who turned on him.

“How they gon' say I don't respect these women, when all I've done is represent? Take my career and turn it upside down, 'cause you mad I've got some girlfriends.”

He then sings that he thinks it's “crazy” to call his behaviour…paedophile”.

Kelly also took aim at the #MuteRKelly campaign which “discourages people from listening to Kelly's music as a result of the allegations against him and has asked his record label, concert promoters, ticket sellers and streaming services to withdraw their support”, reports the BBC. Spotify and Apple Music removed the singer from their playlists in response.

“You may have your opinions, entitled to your opinions/But really am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion?” the song continues.

“Yeah, go ahead and stone me, point your finger at me. Turn the world against me, but only god can mute me,” he says.

On the new song, he said he was sexually abused as a child, singing “a family member touched me” and revealing he was "so scared to say something, so I just put the blame on me.”

He also sings: “I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist.”

“So I had to write a song about this, 'cause they always take my words and twist it.”

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