R. Kelly: My fame makes me a target for allegations
R. Kelly says he has been targeted with damaging sexual allegations because he is a celebrity.
The 48-year-old star has faced numerous accusations of sexual interest with underage girls for several years but is adamant they are false and insists he has been victimised because he is a successful singer.
When asked in an interview with New York Magazine, "Do you have a sexual attraction to underage girls?", he replied: "That's a rumour that comes from the Earth, like all rumours. No. It's not true. I love women, period. If I wasn't a celebrity, people wouldn't be saying these things about me.
"I'm going to always have the gift along with the curse. I feel like I got a million people hating me, I've got maybe eight million loving me. So I've got nine million talking about me, and in a strange, magical way, it keeps me in the game. I only have a problem with haters. Other than that, I'm doing well."
When the interviewer went on to question why people including his "brother, his ex-publicist, his former friend and long-time personal assistant" insisted he has a "problem", the 'Ignition' hitmaker claimed they were all bitter ex-employees.
He said: "All those people have been fired by me. If you're going to ask me these questions, you have to make sense out of it. It wasn't until after they got fired that they said these things. Go figure. I got one life, and I don't want to spend it talking about negativity. I've moved on. Maybe you haven't."
R. Kelly was reported to have married the late singer Aaliyah in August 1994, when she was just 15, although she was listed as 18 on the marriage certificate, and he was 26.
The marriage was later annulled in February 1995, although both denied that the marriage ever took place.