Entertainment Celebrity Lady Gaga issues apology, pulls song over R Kelly abuse claims

Lady Gaga issues apology, pulls song over R Kelly abuse claims

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Lady Gaga said she will remove the song from all streaming services. Photo: Getty
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Lady Gaga has apologised for a 2013 duet with fellow music artist R Kelly and vowed to remove the the song from streaming services after allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against the rapper.

A documentary, Surviving R Kelly, which aired in the US last week featured several women who alleged Kelly had sexually assaulted them. Kelly has denied allegations of abuse since they were first levelled against him in 2008.

Gaga, 32, who worked with Kelly on the song Do What U Want (With My Body), condemned her former collaborator, saying she stands “behind these women 1000%” and that the allegations are “horrifying and indefensible”.

Posting on social media on Thursday night, Gaga wrote that she had collaborated with Kelly ”during a “dark time” in her life as a victim of sexual assault. She said she should have sought therapy or other help instead.

“What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” she said.

Gaga, whose film A Star Is Born is tipped for Oscar success next month, said she wanted to “create something extremely defiant and provocative [at the time] because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life”.

“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with [Kelly] again. I’m sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you,” she added.

Gaga revealed in 2014 that she was raped seven years earlier and has since spoken out about abuse.

Gaga’s collaboration with Kelly was intensely criticised when it was first released, in part because of the allegations against him and because of the pair’s sexually charged performances on Saturday Night Live and the American Music Awards in 2013.

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Gaga’s performance of the song with Kelly was criticised in 2013. Photo: Getty

The video was directed by Terry Richardson, who also had been accused of sexual misconduct. It was never officially released, but depicts Kelly as a doctor ogling a naked Gaga, the patient.

“I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy, I have since then ,so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in,” she wrote.

Surviving R Kelly has brought renewed attention to the singer’s history and allegations that he has sexually abused women and girls. 

The documentary’s producer, Dream Hampton, has previously expressed her anger with Gaga for her refusal to appear in the project.

-with AAP

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