Azriel Clary, one of the women who testified about the ongoing abuse she endured while in a relationship with R.Kelly, is speaking out again following his racketeering and sex trafficking trial.
On Thursday (Sept. 30), Clary sat down exclusively with CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King in her first interview since the verdict.
During Kelly’s trial, Clary testified that her relationship with Kelly started when she was 17. She was sexually and physically abused and was coerced into having an abortion by Kelly.
Clary once defended Kelly and denied any abuse during a 2019 interview with King. At the time, she had been living with Kelly for five years. But in January 2020, Clary later admitted that she had been abused and brainwashed by Kelly to lie.
“What do you think anybody could’ve said or done to help you leave the situation sooner?” King asked Clary.
The 23-year-old soon responded, “Nothing. I feel like that is something that I would’ve had to woken up from myself, something I would’ve had to realize on myself. A lot of people don’t realize that with victims the more you try to help them, the more it upsets them sometimes.”
Clary also shared how it felt to tell such a graphic and painful testimony in the courtroom while sitting on the stand and looking at Kelly during the trial.
“I feel like it was very disturbing to have to relive those moments,” she said, holding back tears. “I don’t know; a piece of me was happy because I felt like this person no longer has control over me,” she said. “You don’t tell me what to do and what to wear and where to go.”
Clary says that she does take accountability for her actions and felt that it was essential to sit down with King once more, “It’s okay to reevaluate your life. It is okay to change your mind. You are never too old to wake up and say, ‘Hey, I thought this was good for me, but it’s actually not.”
According to CBS News, Kelly was found guilty on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking in the high-profile case, which featured hours of graphic testimony from the singer’s accusers and eyewitnesses of his behavior
Watch the full interview below: