The public has heard from R. Kelly and now it's his girlfriends' turn.
Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, sat down with CBS This Morning's Gayle King as part of the network's headline-sparking interviews with the two women and Kelly this week. The sit-downs mark the first time the Grammy-winning singer has spoken publicly since he pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse last month. King noted that Kelly was nearby as they filmed the interview, though his team had agreed he would not be present, and the women were aware he was there.
While Clary and Savage's parents have long alleged that the star has manipulated and brainwashed their daughters, the two women have presented a very different version of the story.
"When I first met Robert, my parents told me to lie about my age, so when I met him he thought that I was 18," Clary alleged to King, denying that she ever had sex with R. Kelly when she was 17. "On top of that, when I was 17, my parents were actually making me, trying to get me to take photos with him, take sexual videos with him—all kinds of stuff...because if they ever have to blackmail him, what they're trying to do now, they can use it against him, which is exactly what they're doing."
Savage was in agreement with the allegations as she visibly nodded. "Everything she's saying is true. Our parents are basically out here to get money," Savage claimed. "Both of our parents are basically out here to try and get money and scam because they didn't agree on what happened with music or wherever it could be and they're just very upset."
Clary further alleged that her parents began to threaten her and R. Kelly that they would release naked photos of her if he doesn't send thousands of dollars to a bank account. "You're trying to solicit me like I'm some f--king hoe. I'm not. I'm your child." Both sets of parents have publicly denied ever asking or receiving money from R. Kelly.
Reacting to her claims, Angelo and Alice Clary's attorney released a statement on Thursday that read, "Azriel Clary is presently suffering from years of mental abuse and manipulation by R. Kelly. Sadly, like so many girls before them, Azriel and Joycelyn Savage have been manipulated and convinced by Kelly to lie to protect him from serious criminal charges. Azriel's parents never attempted to blackmail anyone and never suggested their daughter take nude photos or sexual videos. And they have never asked R. Kelly for a single penny. These are absolute lies fabricated by R. Kelly and we have evidence to show that these claims are bogus."
In a press conference on Wednesday, Joycelyn's parents rejected Kelly's money claim. "The allegations Mr. Kelly has brought against my family is very horrific," dad Timothy Savage said."We are a solid family, we care about our daughter. From day one, the only thing we wanted to do was actually to see our daughter, hear from our daughter, and make sure she's fine."
"At no point did this family sell their daughter to anyone or provide their daughter for anything for money," their lawyer reiterated.
In the interview, Clary grew emotional and began to cry as she warned the public against their parents' allegations.
"I'm crying because you guys don't know the truth. You guys are believing some f--king fascade that our parents are saying. This is all f--king lies for money and if you can't see that, you're ignorant and you're stupid as f--k because you want to be all—because that's the world we live in. Negativity sells, gossip is what sells, rumors are what sell."
Savage added, "Exactly."
When King brought up the decades of allegations against Kelly, Clary rebuffed them, claiming to her, "We're not here to talk about decades. We're here to talk about what our parents are doing right now and what they're doing right now is all for money."
The two women also denied ever having singing ambitions, unlike what their parents have described publicly. "Before I even met R. Kelly, I told my parents I did not want to sing. My parents made singing like a job for me," Clary claimed. "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 with my life, this is not how I want to spend my life." CBS This Morning reported, citing medical records from the time, that she had told doctors the suicide attempt was triggered by issues with her then-boyfriend. In part of the interview with Kelly, he said Savage could not sing and that he is not "with her for her talent."
Regarding the nature of their relationship with Kelly, they confirmed that they are "in a relationship" with the star, live with him and believe they are in love with him.
"We both have our individual relationships with him and we all are a family," Clary described, noting they watch movies together and go to amusement parks.
However, when King asked about the nature of their sexual relationship, Clary became defensive as she told King that was not a subject she would discuss. "I'm 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'm sure you would not either," she told King. "There are people all over the world who have multiple girlfriends. It's no different."
As for their well-being, Clary insisted her parents have known where she has been, that they have seen her a few times and that she is "well taken care of," although she also alleged they stopped answering her phone calls.
Looking to the future, Clary hasn't figured out what she wants to do with her life yet, but she's happy doing what she's doing now. "I know when that time comes, we know Rob is going to support us regardless."
Savage added, "He's our full support and we're his full support and all we need is each other."