R. Kelly’s two young girlfriends angrily denied claims that they are ‘brainwashed’ and refused to answer questions about their sex life with the singer in an excruciating interview during which he lurked in the shadows and coughed to make his presence known after insisting he would not be in the room.
Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21, sat down with CBS‘s Gayle King earlier this week to dismiss their families’ claims that they are being controlled by Kelly.
Azriel, who met Kelly when she was just 17, was visibly angry and emotional.
She cried, screamed and spoke down to King while being asked about her life with the singer and accused her parents of pimping her out to him when she was underage to ‘take pictures’ and ‘sexual videos’ with him that could later be used as blackmail.
Her family, who took part in the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, insists they have never asked for a penny from him. They have never released explicit photographs or videos of her.
‘When I was 17, my parents were making me try to take photos with him, sexual videos with him.
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Azriel Clary, 21, (left) and Joycelyn Savage, 23, (right) were irritable and easily set-off in their interview with Gayle King where they defended R. Kelly as he lurked in the background
‘They said if they ever had to blackmail him, they can use them,’ she said.
Joycelyn, who has been with the singer for the last two years, said what she was saying was ‘true’ and added that both their families are only interested in ‘money’.
The pair became aggravated when King asked about the nature of their relationship with the singer who is 30 years older than them both.
‘We’re with him. That’s our relationship with him. We live with him. You just said it,’ Azriel fumed.
Joycelyn added that it was a ‘very strong relationship’,
King pushed for details, asking whether they each had their own relationship with him or if it was a ‘three-way’ in which they all were equal partners.
‘Both of those. We both have our individual relationships with him and we are all a family all together.
‘We have our moments when we watch movies all together and go to theme parks,’ Azriel said.
King replied: ‘Azriel, I am not talking about watching movies or going to theme parks.
‘I am asking about the sexual relationship’. At that, the young woman became irate.
Azriel, who met the singer when she was 17, was more agitated than Joycelyn throughout
She cried, called anyone who believed she was in danger ‘f*****g ignorant and stupid as f**k’ while Joycelyn rubbed her back
She shot back: ‘Sexually well first of all I am not here to talk about my personal life and I would never share with no one what I do in or outside of the bedroom.
‘And as a woman, I am sure you would not either.’
King started replying by saying she would not but the young woman cut her off before she could finish, snipping: ‘Ok then so, next question.’
King, undeterred, argued back: ‘This is a very different circumstance.’
Azriel immediately dismissed her comment, saying: ‘It’s not a different circumstance, there are people all over the world who have multiple girlfriends. It’s no different.’
Elsewhere in the interview she accused her parents of treating her like a ‘f*****g hoe’ by allegedly encouraging her to start a sexual relationship with the singer.
She said that while they pushed her towards him, they did not have sex until after she turned 18.
Joycelyn Savage, 23, claimed her parents were lying about their concern for her
Azriel, left, was 17 when R. Kelly pulled her on stage at a concert in 2015. Joycelyn, right, was 19 when she was flown to attend one of his shows with her mother
Joycelyn’s parents held a press conference on Wednesday morning to say R. Kelly’s comments were ‘disturbing’. They believe she has been brainwashed into publicly supporting him
Azriel’s parents appeared in the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly to tell of their family’s struggle to regain contact with her. Azriel met the singer when her father took her to a concert and allowed her to go on stage with him in 2015. She says her parents told her to lie about her age
‘When I first met Robert my parents first told me to lie about my age. He thought that I was 18,’ she said, adding that her father was ‘manipulative’ and ‘the one you have to watch out for’.
Kelly is back behind bars in Chicago for failing to pay his child support
‘My mom and dad started to send threats to me and to [R. Kelly] to say they would put all my naked pictures out there if he doesn’t put $20,000 to this bank account by Monday and another $10,000 to this one… you’re trying to solicit me like I’m some f*****g h*e. I’m not, I am your child,’ she said.
She also rejected her parents’ claim that she has not spoken to them for years, saying that they ‘knew’ where she has been for the last four years and that she has been well taken care of.
She claimed that the only reason her boyfriend is being accused of such abhorrent crimes is that ‘negativity sells’.
‘That’s the world we live in. Negativity sells, rumors are what sells, gossip is what sells.’
When King pointed out that Kelly is facing decades of allegations, she quipped back: ‘We’re not here to talk about decades. We’re here to talk about what our parents are doing now.’
Both denied ever wanting to sing – which is how their parents say they met the singer – and Azriel even claimed that it was her parents determination for her to become a star that drove her to a suicide attempt when she was a teenager.
‘We don’t want to sing. That’s another lie. Before I even met R. Kelly, I told my parents that I didn’t want to sing.
In the second part of his explosive CBS interview that aired on Thursday after he was arrested for a second time, R. Kelly spoke about his finances and revealed that he had visited the bank for the first time weeks ago
King said on Thursday that she wanted to take the girls out of the situation and, as a mother, is uncomfortable with their relationship with Kelly
‘My parents made it like a job. I even tried to kill myself because I did not want to sing, as a cry out for help to tell them this is not what I want to do,’ she said.
Azriel’s father told King separately that she did once try to take her own life but that it was because of a messy break-up with a boyfriend.
Both women said they did not know what they wanted to do for work or ‘with their lives’ but that whatever they chose, Kelly – who is facing 70 years imprisonment – would support them.
‘Honestly I am happy doing what I am doing. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life but we know Rob is going to support us regardless,’ Azriel said.
Joycelyn added: ‘All we need is each other.’
Earlier in the interview, Azriel snapped and called anyone who believed she was in danger ‘f*****g ignorant and stupid as f**k’.
‘I am crying because you guys don’t know the truth and you guys believe in some f*****g facade that our parents are saying for money and if you can’t see that then you’re ignorant and you’re stupid!’ she yelled while Joycelyn patted her back.
After the interview aired on CBS on Thursday morning, King revealed that Kelly had been lurking behind them during their interview despite his team telling her crew that he would not be in the room.
Joycelyn’s mother Jonjelyn is pictured with her younger sister Jordan leaning in to hear her speak. They asked who was listening to the call and repeatedly told her that they loved her
Central to her parents’ case against the singer is their belief that they are constantly being monitored and cannot speak for themselves without being coached.
‘His team had told us that R. Kelly would not be in the room.
‘After the interview started, he was around the corner, behind them, they couldn’t see him but at points during the conversation he would cough very loudly so that they would know he was there.
‘A couple of times, Laz, who is my make-up artist, R. Kelly came up to him and said, “Should I stop this interview, should I stop this interview?” He never did.
‘The girls were certainly aware that he was there.’
King, who has two adult children, said she felt compelled to take them out of the ‘sad, tawdry’ situation.
‘I just wanted to say as a mother, “Get your things. Let’s go. You are 21, you are 23 and he is 52 years old.”
‘I know many people believe age is just a number but when you’re looking at these young women, they parrot a lot of what he is saying.
‘It’s a bad situation. And I think one day, years from now, everyone will look back and say “this was very sad”.
‘They do not think they are being abused or manipulated or brainwashed but again, they’re 21 and 23,’ she said.
After Kelly’s interview aired, Joycelyn’s parents held a press conference where they said they were ‘disturbed’ by his remarks.
‘We watched it as a family. It’s disturbing. It’s emotionally disturbing for all of us. I sit there and I want to not just pray for my daugher but pray for Mr. Kelly to get some kind of healing,’ Timothy Savage, Joycelyn’s father, said.
Joycelyn’s mother, Jonjelyn, said watching his interview with King made her fear for her daughter’s safety.
‘I can only imagine what he does behind closed doors when there’s no cameras.
Joycelyn called her family afterwards but was cut off suddenly and told them: ‘I have to go’.
Now, Kelly’s publicist is trying to arrange a reunion for the family. Her family and Azriel’s family want a psychologist to analyze them.