By Isabel Jones
Updated: Mar 06, 2019 @ 11:42 am

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.

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"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.
 

RELATED: The Internet Is Desperate for an Apology from Lady Gaga

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."

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