Lady Gaga has apologized for working with R. Kelly and said she plans to remove their 2013 single from all streaming services in the wake of a recent Lifetime docu-series that chronicles allegations of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia against Kelly.
Gaga’s single “Do What U Want (With My Body)” featured vocals by Kelly, which was controversial at the time because the R&B singer had stood trial in Chicago on child pornography charges a few years prior to the single’s release. Kelly was acquitted.
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
“I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault,” Lady Gaga said in a statement. “I made both the song and 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.”
She continues, “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 we’ve been through. I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault,” she added.
Some critics have pointed out that when the song was released in 2013, Gaga brushed off her controversial decision to work with Kelly.
I like how she didn’t address the fact that she was asked about the R Kelly allegations when that song came out and she said that they were untrue.
— Twerk-Bajir (@JoePGould) January 10, 2019
“Both R. Kelly and I have, sometimes, very untrue things written about us,” she said at a 2013 news conference in Japan, defending her decision. “In a way, this was a bond between us. We were able to say, ‘The public, they can have our bodies, but they cannot have our mind or our heart.’ It was a very natural collaboration.”
During an interview on SiriusXM, “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series producer, Dream Hampton, said she wished Gaga could have spoken to her for the project.
“I wanted to know how Lady Gaga could be on ‘SNL’ with him as someone who advocates for domestic abuse survivors and was, you know, had this ridiculous performance with him on ‘SNL,'” Hampton said.