Even at the close of 2017, it seems that R&B crooner R. Kelly can’t keep himself away from controversial headlines.
And now that his latest buzz involves the mistreatment of an autistic fan, he’s taking to his defense much quicker than he did amid the allegations that he headed a violent, hostage-taking sex cult earlier in the year.
Kelly released his side of the story via Instagram, detailing how he ran into the fan and exactly what took place in a video that’s disturbed quite a few people. In the footage, Kelly is seen outside of a Hollywood nightclub recording the man that TMZ names as Lenny Felix. The clip starts with the man explaining that he recently became a huge music fan. But when Kelly asks him to croon something out, he informs him that he’s not much of a singer. Felix is apparently familiar with Kelly’s work and proceeds to sing his classic 1996 ballad “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Afterward, Kelly flips the camera to himself and puts a remix on the version that rubbed many people the wrong way.
“I believe that you high,” he sings. “I believe that you touchin’ the sky / Smokin’ on that Percocet.”
After outrage from not only fans, but also Felix’s family who caught wind of the video, Kelly clarified things by saying that he didn’t realize that the man was autistic. He argues that he and a few friends were leaving the venue, admittedly tipsy, and ran into him with the assumption that he was just drunk. Afterward, Kelly said, he began joking around with him as he claims he does with any other fan.
“I can’t do anything without someone saying something negative about me,” he says.
TMZ reports that Felix’s family revealed that, even after he saw the footage, he questioned whether Kelly was mocking him and “[doesn’t] want him to think [he’s] dumb.” Now, the site adds, Kelly’s night on the town may cost him a couple of days in court and the family has already met up with an attorney.
“It’s just too much, guys,” Kelly continues in the video. “Let me do my work. It’s obviously people trying to blackball me and destroy my career. But one thing I say is I don’t tell God about my problems, I tell my problems about my God.”
See a video of the “fan fun” in question and Kelly’s response to the latest drama below.
(Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage)