R. Kelly’s crisis manager said Monday that he wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving his own daughter with the disgraced R&B singer and accused serial sexual abuser, yet defended him anyway against a string of new federal sex crime charges.
When “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King asked if he would allow his daughter to be alone with Kelly, Darrell Johnson said: “Absolutely not.” Yet, he insisted it was not a “contradiction” to publicly defend his client against numerous charges of sexually abusing girls and young women.
“I wouldn’t leave my daughter with anyone that’s accused of being a pedophile,” he said, repeating it twice.
The accused serial sexual abuser was arrested earlier this month on 18 new federal counts, including child pornography, kidnapping and transporting minors for sex, and obstruction of justice, in addition to prior state charges. Kelly and his lawyer have continued to deny all sexual misconduct allegations.
“I would never call anybody a liar,” Johnson said when King asked him about the numerous women accusing Kelly, adding that he has not personally witnessed “anything that would cause me to be suspicious.”
“I’ve seen Mr. Kelly being a normal person,” he said.
Johnson cited Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, the two women living with Kelly who have defended him. But both women’s parents believe Kelly has “brainwashed” them, part of a pattern of allegedly holding women and girls against their will.
“We are not going to see that type of behavior,” King said. “The question is all of these women, through decades now, have been telling the same story. Of course you and I aren’t going to see that, or someone, if we walked into his house.”
At the time of the interview in March, King said Kelly stood off-camera, interjecting with coughs and attempts to cut off her conversation with Savage and Clary.
Kelly is in jail without bond, after a federal judge in Chicago said last week that the singer had failed to show that he would not commit new crimes if released.
Johnson said Monday that he is concerned about Kelly’s mental health.
“Mr. Kelly is a mess right now,” he said. “He’s scared. He’s isolated.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
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