Lady Gaga is taking a stand. “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault,” she wrote on Twitter.
In the wake of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly aired on Lifetime, a growing number of celebrities have been speaking out against R. Kelly – including John Legend, Ne-Yo, Meek Mill and Tank.
Lady Gaga, who once worked with R. Kelly on a 2013 track, is also making her feelings known.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, the 32-year-old performer who has been open about being a sexual assault survivor herself, shared her stance on the allegations against her former collaborator.
“I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” she wrote. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life,” she continued. “My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and stll hadn’t processed the drama that had occurred in my own life.”
Revealing the title of the song, she described the mind set she was in at the time of their collaboration. “The song is called ‘Do What You Want (With my Body)’, I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time,” she shared.
“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 reflected, adding, “or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation – to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through.”
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and stance many time throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now. “
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” she announced and concluded her statement with an apology. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.
Suviving R. Kelly is the controversial six-part documentary that aired on Lifetime from Jan 3-5 which featured over 50 interviews – including women who claim to be victims of sexual misconduct by R. Kelly. And, as featured in the documentary, the singer has allegedly kept women against their will both in Atlanta and Chicago.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer has denied all the allegations made against him over the years, and has reportedly threatened to sue Lifetime prior to the airing of the docu-series, according to TMZ.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday (Januray 8), that the District Attorney’s Office of Fulton County, Georgia, are “conducting interviews” regarding the accusations featured in the show.
TMZ and The Blast also add that the D.A.’s Office has reportedly reached out to alleged victims from the series, including Asante McGee.
In a press conference on Tuesday (January 8), Kimberly M. Foxx, the state’s attorney for Cook County, Illinois, encouraged those with allegations to come forward.
“In order to have an investigation … we have to have victims and witnesses who are willing to come forth with whatever information that they have,” Kimberly said. “I’m here today to encourage victims of sexual assault or domestic violence related to these allegations to please get in touch with our office… There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you.”
According to ET, one of the women who came forward is Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, an R&B singer who started off as one of R. Kelly’s protégés but ended up testifying against him in a 2008 trial where he faced 14 charges of child pornography – from a sex tape that allegedly featured Stephanie’s underage niece.
“There are some people who don’t believe that it’s him or that he’s doing these things. Then, there are people who will back these women up and I support the women,” Stephanie told ET.
R. Kelly’s reps have declined to comment on reports of the alleged investigation.