LOS ANGELES – Lady Gaga has apologized for working with R. Kelly and said she plans to remove their 2013 single from streaming services.
A recent Lifetime documentary chronicles allegations of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia against Kelly, and Gaga has been under fire to condemn him. Kelly has strongly denied the allegations.
Gaga’s single “Do What U Want (With My Body)” featured vocals by Kelly, which was controversial at the time because the R&B singer had stood trial in Chicago on child pornography charges a few years prior to the single’s release. Kelly was acquitted.
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” Lady Gaga said in a statement.
“The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body),” I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
She said she will not work with Kelly again.
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” she said. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
During a press conference in 2013, Gaga explained their partnership on the song.
“R. Kelly and I have sometimes very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us,” she said. “That we were able to say, the public, they can have our bodies, but they cannot have our mind or our heart. It was a really natural collaboration.”
The pair also performed a sexually provocative duet on “Saturday Night Live” at the time.
During an interview on SiriusXM, “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series producer, Dream Hampton, said she wished Gaga could have spoken to her for the project.
“I wanted to know how Lady Gaga could be on ‘SNL’ with him as someone who advocates for domestic abuse survivors and was, you know, had this ridiculous performance with him on ‘SNL,'” Hampton said.
There had already been an outcry for Gaga, who has been a proponent of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, to speak out against Kelly and those calls increased after Hampton’s remarks.
“Surviving R. Kelly” aired over three nights on Lifetime and has renewed interest in allegations against Kelly.
On Tuesday, a Chicago prosecutor said her office has been in touch with two families related to allegations against Kelly since the series aired. He could also be facing an investigation in Georgia, where an attorney for the family of Joycelyn Savage, one of the women featured in the documentary, said the Fulton County District Attorney is conducting an investigation into Kelly.