On Being In Love With Aaliyah

Aaliyah? I heard first of all this soft voice, but very…a lot of charisma. And I saw her as a star the minute I heard her sing and dance. Saw her dance. She wasn’t the greatest dancer, but the dance moves she was doing were different than the other dancers that I’ve seen on television. And I said, ‘This girl’s gonna be a star, whether I work with her or not.’

Uh, I would describe it as best friends. Deep friends. As far as we both loved music and wanted to be successful. She’s a Capricorn, I’m a Capricorn, my momma a Capricorn, her daddy’s a Capricorn, you know. It was just so much in common with each other.

Yes. I would say I loved ‘liyah.

Well, there’s a lot of ways to be in love with a person. I was in love with my grandfather, you know. But yeah, I would say I was in love with Aaliyah just like I was in love with anybody else. But in a different, friend type of way.

When asked if Aaliyah was in love with him, R. Kelly responded:

I would think so. Absolutely. I would say that.

When asked about their alleged marriage, the barriers we all are familiar with returned.

Well, because of Aaliyah’s passing, as I’ve always said, out of respect for her mother who’s sick and her father who’s passed, I will never have that conversation with anyone. Out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father who has asked me not to personally. But I can tell you I loved her, I can tell you she loved me, we was very close. We were, you know, best best best best friends.

Yeah, yeah. You know, I tell you this: I know Aaliyah’s not here and can’t speak for herself, but there was a time that she was plenty here, after that rumor and all of that stuff started. Plenty grown. She was 22 and could speak for herself. Her mother, her father, anybody else, could speak and say whatever they wanted.

Well, unfortunately when there’s two parties involved in any situation, both parties have to be respected. Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself in a way to respect someone else’s wishes, and to respect someone else’s passing…. People can say, ‘Hey, well, he’s just trying to protect hisself.’ Well, I have nothing to protect myself from. I’m still successful, and I’ve got an album out now, I’m gonna move on after this interview and go to the next interview and do another interview, and these questions are going to be asked. I did the best I could by writing my book and putting it out there for whoever wants to read about Robert. [Aaliyah is not mentioned in Kelly’s book.] Can’t satisfy everybody, unfortunately. I wish that I could.

When asked if he felt he did anything wrong while dealing with Aaliyah, R. Kelly responded:

Absolutely not. Absolutely not. That’s my answer forever: Absolutely not.

On The Underaged Sex Allegations

This is the part of the interview where R. Kelly got defensive, explained why his fans still rock with him in spite of the “allegations,” and when the questions got tough…he pulled the lawyer card.

I don’t think there’s many people who believe that wasn’t you in the videotape.

“You say you don’t what?

I don’t think there’s many people who believe you weren’t in that videotape.

“You don’t think it’s many people?”

I think everyone thinks that it was you.

“Even the ones that buy my albums?”

Yes, absolutely.

“And sell out my shows and buy the tickets?”


“So what do you think they think about that?”

I think people really like your records, and they think they don’t have to hate you.

“So you think my records overwhelm what they think about me?”

In truth? Absolutely. For instance, when the accusations first emerged and you were first charged, you came out with “Ignition”… And, to be blunt, the record was too good.

“That’s an opinion. That’s your opinion.”

You asked my opinion.

“The record was so good that it overwhelmed…?”

Yes. That’s what I think.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I just think those people didn’t believe that nonsense. That’s what I think. And they said, ‘The hell with what other people are saying—we love R. Kelly, we believe R. Kelly, he was found innocent, he’s moving on with his life, he’s not letting that tear him down.’ I believe that’s what it was.”

Well, the trial didn’t happen until years after that. And no one is found innocent. You were found not guilty. But when they interviewed the jurors who would talk afterwards, they pretty much all said that it was you in the video.

“Well, then, why didn’t they find me guilty? They loved ‘Ignition’?”

No. They didn’t find you guilty because they couldn’t be sure that the other person in the video was who the prosecution said it was, and hence they couldn’t be sure that person was underage. That’s why you were found not guilty.

“Well, to be honest with you, man…however, whatever, whenever. When a person is found not guilty, they’re found not guilty. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a murder case, it doesn’t matter what case it is, when they’re found not guilty, they’re not guilty. And I think that a lot of haters out there wanted to see me go down.”

Sure. But let me ask a simple question: Is that you in that video?
[pause] Because of my lawyers, to this day I cannot have those kind of conversations. Being advised by my lawyers in this.”

I understand why you wouldn’t during the trial period, but…
“Because they could come back to haunt me. Things could come back and they can just restart all over again. And I have to protect myself.”

On Bill Cosby

R. Kelly says he’s still a fan of Bill Cosby in spite of the multiple allegations against him. But, adds something is strange.

Well, my opinion on that is, I don’t know what happened. I’m a fan of Bill Cosby’s from the Bill Cosby show, of course—who’s not?—and for me to give my opinion on something that I have no idea if it’s true or not, all I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there’s something strange about it. That’s my opinion. It’s just strange.

I’m sure he can “relate.”

Your thoughts?

For the full interview visit GQ.

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