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R. Kelly says parents of the women he lives with handed their daughters over to him

R. Kelly says parents handed daughters over
R. Kelly says parents of women he lives with handed their daughters over to him 04:33

In a shocking and emotional interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, R. Kelly addressed his current relationship with the two young women who live with him at his home in Chicago, 23-year-old Joycelyn Savage and 21-year-old Azriel Clary. Their parents believe the 52-year-old R&B star has brainwashed their daughters into being a part of his alleged sex cult.

The Clarys' attorney released a statement calling Kelly "a liar, manipulator and sociopath." On Wednesday, the Savages held a press conference addressing Kelly's interview.

Chicago prosecutors charged Kelly last month with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He told King all the women now accusing him of physical and sexual abuse are lying. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted on child pornography charges after disputing he was the man seen in a grainy video having sex with an underage girl. 

This is his first TV interview since the latest charges and since the Lifetime docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly" aired. The series features interviews with seven accusers and former members of his inner circle. They all say Kelly preys on vulnerable women and young girls.

Asked about his relationship with Savage and Clary, Kelly said, "I love 'em and it's almost — it's like they're my girlfriends."

"It's like, you know, we have a relationship. It's real. And I know guys — like, I've known guys all my life that have five or six women, OK? So don't go there on me, OK? 'Cause that's the truth," he said.

Authorities say three of Kelly's four alleged victims were underage when the suspected crimes happened. Kelly has pleaded not guilty. Sources tell CBS News federal and state authorities in at least two states, New York and Illinois, are now investigating a variety of allegations.

R. Kelly breaks his silence on sex abuse claims: "I'm fighting for my f***ing life!" 10:34

Pressed by King to address the age difference between him and the women he lives with, Kelly said, "I don't look at much younger than me. I just look at legal. I just look at you're you, I'm me. Now, I don't know if you're married. I don't know. I don't know if you have a relationship. I don't know what you – you know, I don't know. But one might be older than the other. One might be younger than the other, OK? So I just look at legal, OK? People. There are older men that like younger women … there are younger women that like older men."

King asked Kelly if he is an older man that likes younger women. He replied, "I'm a older man that love all women."

Kelly says he met Joycelyn Savage after her father brought her to one of his concerts when she was 19.

"I didn't go looking for a Joycelyn Savage. I was doing my show … he brought her and asked a friend of mine to put her on the stage with R. Kelly, make sure she's on the stage," he said.

Azriel Clary also met Kelly at one of his concerts. Her parents say Kelly pulled the then-17-year-old on stage in 2015. They say they had hoped she would become Kelly's protégé. He told King "I'm seeing her" and denied that their relationship began when she was underage.

"Did you have sex with her when she was 17?" King asked. 

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Although, her parents wanted me to," Kelly said.

Clary's parents claim to have text messages that show that Kelly had sex with her when she was 17. To that he said, "Claim, claim."

"You're with two women right now. You love them, they say they love you. What kind of love is it that keeps these young women away from their families?" King asked.

"I'm going to answer your question. What kind of father, what kind of mother, will sell their daughter to a man?" Kelly said.

"How come it was OK for me to see them until they wasn't getting no money from me? Why would you take your daughter — if I'm going to take my daughter and she's 19 years old to a 49-year-old icon, whatever, celebrity or R. Kelly concert or whoever it is, I'm not going to put her on the stage and leave her. I'm going to take her to the concert. Their father is more into my music and know about my music than they do," Kelly said.

Asked if he was saying that Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage's parents handed their daughters over to him, he said, "Absolutely. Are the cameras still going? Absolutely."

The family of Joycelyn Savage held a press conference on Wednesday morning to address Kelly's interview with King. The Savages' lawyer, Gerald Griggs, disputed a number of the claims Kelly made, including that Joycelyn's father, Timothy Savage, brought his daughter to an R. Kelly concert. 

"We want the record to be clear that from the very beginning of this. The Savage family has brought this to light because they didn't want another victim, they didn't want world not to know what was happening, but we also now want to provide facts and proof," Griggs said. "We have the ticket request and the ticket records that show that at no point has Mr. Kelly ever met Timothy Savage." 

The family also disputed allegations from Kelly that the families only came forward after he stopped sending them money. 

"At no point have the Savages requested any money from Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly, they have never received any money from Robert Sylvester Kelly and they don't want any money from Robert Sylvester Kelly," Griggs said. 

King also spoke to Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage. In an excerpt of her interview, Clary told King, "I'm crying, because you guys don't know the truth," she said, getting emotional. "You guys believe in some f***king façade that our parents are saying. This is all f***king lies for money, and if you can't see that, you're ignorant and you're stupid."

Tune in to "CBS This Morning" on Thursday, March 7, for more of our interview with R. Kelly and to hear from Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who live with the R&B star and deny they are being held against their will.  

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