After R. Kelly stormed out of a HuffPo Live interview last month, it wouldn’t be a shock if he stopped speaking to the press altogether. The Grammy winning recording artists isn’t quite done with the media however. Kelly, 49, granted a rare interview to GQ, where he opened up about Aaliyah.
The piece, titled "Confessions of R. Kelly," begins with Kelly speaking about his childhood, including being sexually abused by a relative.
His relationship with Aaliyah, who died in 2001, has been a subject of controversy. What started as a business collaboration, turned into a reported romance and at 27 Kelly married a then 15-year-old Aaliyah. The union was later annulled.
According to Kellz, music is what initially drew him in. “I heard first of all this soft voice, but very… a lot of charisma,” he recalled. “And I saw her as a star the minute I heard her sing and dance. Saw her dance. She wasn't the greatest dancer, but the dance moves she was doing were different than the other dancers that I've seen on television. And I said, ‘This girl's gonna be a star, whether I work with her or not.’ ”
He described their bond as a “deep” friendship. “She's a Capricorn, I'm a Capricorn, my momma a Capricorn, her daddy's a Capricorn, you know. It was just so much in common with each other.”
Beyond the zodiac connection, the Chicago native admitted to having strong feelings for her without speaking on the marriage. “Out of respect for her mother who's sick and her father who's passed, I will never have that conversation with anyone,” he explained. “Out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father who has asked me not to personally. But I can tell you I loved her, I can tell you she loved me, we was very close. We were, you know, best best best best friends.”
Later in the interview Kelly speaks briefly on his infamous child porn case, and the allegations against Bill Cosby. “I have no idea if it's true or not,” he said of Cosby. “All I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there's something strange about it. That's my opinion. It's just strange.”
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(Photos from left: Mike Pont/Getty Images, George De Sota/Getty Images)