Singer-actor Lady Gaga has apologised for her past collaboration with R&B artiste R Kelly, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.
Gaga, who worked with Kelly on 2013’s “Do What U Want (With My Body)”, posted a lengthy statement on Twitter, saying she stands by the victims who have come forward with their stories of harassment.
“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,” the singer said.
She said her collaboration with Kelly happened 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. The song is called ‘Do What U Want (With My Body)’, I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time,” she said.
“If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in – or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation – to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through,” she added.
She vowed not to work with Kelly again and said she intends to “remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms”.
In her tweet, she wrote, “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault.”
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
Gaga concluded the statement by apologising once again for her “poor judgment” and for “not speaking out sooner”.
In 2013, Gaga had defended working with Kelly.
“R. Kelly and I have sometimes very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us. That we were able to say, the public, they can have our bodies, but they cannot have our mind or our heart. It was a really natural collaboration,” she had said.
The renewed discussion about Kelly and his predatory behaviour stems from a recent documentary, Surviving R Kelly, which chronicles the accusations of abuse and pedophilia against the singer. He has denied all the allegations.