R. Kelly Accuser Azriel Clary Says She Was Handled, Coached Before Gayle King’s 2019 Interview

R. Kelly’s accuser, Azriel Clary, described how she was manipulated and threatened by the singer and how to act during an emotional interview Thursday with “CBS Mornings.”

Clary, now 23, was one of the women who lived with Kelly at their Chicago home. She testified against him in his high-profile sex trafficking trial in New York, which came to an end this week with the Once R&B superstar found guilty of charges of organized crime and rape the Mann Law, a law that prohibits the transportation of people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”

Kelly, 54, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. He has been detained for much of the time since he was formally charged in 2019 and faces decades in prison when he is sentenced on May 4.

The singer also faces charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

Azriel Clary arrives at the R. Kelly Status Hearing in New York in 2019.Shannon Stapleton File / Reuters

“I was lost and I felt invisible and I gave someone that control over me to basically make me do whatever they wanted me to do and act the way they wanted me to act,” Clary told co-host Gayle King on her first interview since the trial.

Clary described how Kelly would manipulate her and other women and threaten to throw them “all over the room” if she found out that they tried to discuss any attempts to escape. She said that she and another woman, Joycelyn Savage, were instructed by Kelly on what to say before a 2019 interview with King which made national headlines after Kelly rose from her seat and vigorously denied the allegations of sexual abuse.

“I didn’t do these things,” he said during that interview. “This isn’t me. I’m fighting for my fucking life.”

Clary said before she and Savage sat down with King for the interview, Kelly “came in and told us we were angry and upset. So we walked in angry. And I was scared because I didn’t want the world to do it. Look at me this way. way, you know. I’m loving. I care. I’m compassionate and no one could see that side of me. “

She added: “Before that interview, he had us practicing every day. If he didn’t like our answer, he would tell us exactly what to say and how to say it. So every time you mention something about sexual preference, we already know. To say. , ‘I’m not here to talk about it,’ because that’s what he told us to say every time. “

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Clary told King she was not honest about anything she said during the 2019 interview. Savage and her representatives could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The 23-year-old also spoke about testifying against Kelly, telling King he was “happy” that he no longer had control over her.

“Everything we were living in had become very normal and I had to break away from that. I had to realize that this is really abnormal,” Clary said.

An email and phone call to Kelly’s attorney about Clary’s latest interview were not immediately returned Thursday.

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