Singer R. Kelly is continuing to face a reckoning from other celebrities and now his lawyer is getting involved.
This week, singer and actor Lady Gaga issued a statement regarding R. Kelly. In 2013, she recorded a song with the rapper, who is now facing sexual abuse allegations, Do What U Want (With My Body).
Gaga said she will remove the song from streaming platforms and added she made the song and video ‘at a dark time in my life’.
‘I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time,’ her statement continued. She also said she stands by the women accusing Kelly.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, claimed his client has done nothing wrong and accused Gaga of exploiting him.
Background and exploitation claims
Kelly’s career has been dogged by accusations and scandals for years, beginning with his alleged marriage to then 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994.
In 2017, accusations of abuse came to head when BuzzFeed News published a report about parents accusing Kelly of keeping their daughters in an abusive sex cult.
This month, Lifetime debuted a six-part docuseries titled Surviving R. Kelly detailing the various accusations against the singer.
Fellow singer John Legend appeared in the docuseries and said it wasn’t courageous or ‘risky’ for him to appear.
‘I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision,’ he wrote.
To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 4, 2019
In a follow-up tweet, he said Kelly’s career should be destroyed over this, similar to Harvey Weinstein.
I took a photo with and worked with Harvey on several occasions before his abuse was known to me and the rest of the world. Since his being exposed, his company and career have rightfully been destroyed and he's been indicted. Sounds like something that should happen to R Kelly https://t.co/LgIOQpEnsP
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 8, 2019
Greenberg is the latest to speak out on the topic.
In a statement issued to Access, he directly responded to Gaga’s statement. He said her statement exploits Kelly in an effort to win an Oscar. Gaga is currently on the awards circuit for her performance and music in the movie A Star Is Born.
Greenberg stated: ‘Mr. Kelly appreciates that she recognized his immense talent and collaborated with him to help her career, but finds it regrettable that she is now exploiting this controversy to try and help her in her effort to win an Oscar.’
In a more general statement, he said people are now exploiting his client ‘for their 15 minutes of TMZ fame’.
More figures and celebrities speak up
Kelly’s estranged daughter, Buku Abi, issued a statement on her Instagram story.
‘I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,’ she said. ‘The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.’
Meanwhile, on Instagram, Cara Delevingne revealed she lost 50,000 followers after speaking out against Kelly.
‘Every time I say something real, something I truly believe, something others may think of as controversial, something that makes people think and ask questions, I lose followers,’ she wrote. ‘The followers I lose clearly don’t agree with what I have to say, people that support the ideas and actions of others who are moving backwards and not forwards.’
She also added she wants to speak up more because ‘silence causes suppression and suppression causes sickness’.
‘In 2019, I want to be more confrontational. Confrontation IS NOT VIOLENCE btw, it’s communication. Goodbye silence and backwards followers, hello confrontation and forward thinkers. It’s going to be a loud year.’
Finally, Christina Aguilera, who recorded a duet with Gaga of Do What U Want, praised Gaga on Instagram.
‘I embrace all survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse holding a special place in my heart, and you @ladygaga, for doing the right thing!’ she wrote.