As celebrities spoke out against R. Kelly in the wake of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, fans were putting pressure on Lady Gaga, who collaborated with the R&B singer in 2013, to denounce him. She did so Wednesday night in a tweet that explained not only that she believes and feels for the women, but explains the thought process behind the duo’s provocative single, “Do What U Want (With My Body).”
“I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” Gaga began. “What I am hearing about the allegations about R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made the song and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” she continued.
She went on to explain that looking back, she would encourage her younger self to seek out therapy (which she ultimately did) and would say the same to any other survivor of sexual assault living with PTSD. She said she would continue to champion diverse perspectives and human rights, as she has done frequently, but stopped short of using her work as an excuse for past actions.
“I share this not to make excuses for myself but to explain,” she said. “But I do know how I feel now… I’m sorry both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.”
She also said that she would be removing the song from all streaming services.
Many fans had words of support and thanks for the singer after her message.
for anyone who has been a supporter of you, we know where you stand and just as you said, how much you’ve advocated for victims ever since. thank you for speaking out though, you’re always number one ❤️❤️
— Lady Gaga Facts (@LGMonsterFacts) January 10, 2019
You did not owe anyone an explanation Gaga. You are a beautiful person, with a beautiful soul that has saved and inspired so many people. I respect this post so much because you continue to show how your kindness is everlasting. I love you. I support you. ❤️
— A Shook Is Born (@Apollo_XCVI) January 10, 2019
We all stand by you! I love you! 💕💕
— Madelon ♡ Mother Monster 💙 (@xGagaxFloortjex) January 10, 2019
I knew youd come around and speak up about this, never had a doubt in my mind, proud of you for standing behind your word and message ❤️
— Biggz (@JBiggzzz) January 10, 2019
Fans also had a suggestion for Gaga — just forget the song ever featured R. Kelly and replace it completely with the version she recorded with Christina Aguilera.
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) January 10, 2019
Just replace it with the @xtina version!!
— Chris Bockiaro ⭐️ (@ChrisBockiaro) January 10, 2019
REPLACE WITH THE XTINA VERSION I BEG YOU!!!!!!!
— Bê (@duartebernardo) January 10, 2019
Other past collaborators of R. Kelly have also been coming out, including Keke Palmer, who was a Kelly protege herself. She posted a lengthy message on Instagram Wednesday detailing her shock and horror at the abuses described in the documentary.
“I am hurt and saddened because he could have been a blessing to these women but instead he repeatedly took advantage and that I can not accept,” she wrote. “I will stand by my sisters because that’s simply what’s right and what I hope discontinues this behavior in anyone.”
View this post on Instagram
Just finished Surviving R. Kelly and I have spent the last hour crying. As a student of R. Kelly’s for the time I was and having been around his light and understanding the obstacles he overcame as a child to actually be birthed into the musical genius he is today… All to put others through the same darkness he was running from is the most disheartening thing to accept. Many people experience hardships and do not allow themselves to find freedom through their passion enough to shine a light. R. Kelly received that grace from God. God blessed him to vindicate his childhood shortcomings and yet still he has slapped God in the face by his actions towards these women. I am hurt and saddened because he could have been a blessing to these women but instead he repeatedly took advantage and that I can not accept. I will stand by my sisters because that’s simply what’s right and what I hope discontinues this behavior in anyone. We have to be good to eachother, not all of us accept the light but those of us that do must be responsible!!!! We can not take advantage of each other or accept when someone else does. 💔
With all the attention Surviving R. Kelly has drawn to the situation and the resulting public outrage, Kelly is now facing several criminal investigations in different U.S. cities.