Lady Gaga Apologizes for "Twisted" R. Kelly Collaboration
After receiving a wave of backlash for her silence on her 2013 collaboration with disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly, Lady Gaga has spoken out.
Early Thursday morning, the Joanne songstress released a statement explaining why she chose to work with Kelly on the Artpop track “Do What U Want” and why she now condemns both the singer himself and their duet.
"I stand behind these women 1000 percent, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” she began. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrible and indefensible.”
She went on to explain that she worked with Kelly during a “dark time” in her life and sought provocation to assuage the anger she truly felt.
"As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the songs 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 continued. “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.”
Lamenting her decision, Gaga wrote, “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."
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and support women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now."
Gaga revealed that she plans to remove the song from streaming platforms and that she will not be working with Kelly in the future.
Concluding her note, Gaga wrote, “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you."