Lady Gaga’s Apology For R. Kelly Collaboration: ‘I’m Sorry … For Not Speaking Out Sooner’

Lady Gaga has apologized for working with R. Kelly in a Twitter statement. The singer, herself a victim of sexual assault, introduced the lengthy apology by noting, “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault.” “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,” Gaga wrote in response to the women who spoke out about Kelly in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary series. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”

The singer collaborated with Kelly on her single “Do What U Want (With My Body),” which dropped in the fall of 2013 and appeared on her album ARTPOP. Gaga also performed the song with Kelly on Saturday Night Live and at the American Music Awards. In her statement, Gaga confirmed that the track will be removed from iTunes and “other streaming platforms.” She also confirmed that she will not work with Kelly again.

“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,” Gaga explained in her apology. “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. 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—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.”

Fans have been anticipating Lady Gaga’s apology since Surviving R. Kelly began airing on Lifetime. The documentary series includes interviews with several women, including Kitti Jones and Andrea Kelly, who have accused Kelly of sexual assault and abuse. Recently Chance the Rapper, who also appeared in the documentary, apologized for working with Kelly on 2015’s “Somewhere In Paradise” and said was a “mistake.”

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