Lady Gaga finally breaks her silence on R Kelly after pressure from fans
In recent days, the long-rumoured controversies surrounding R Kelly have been brought to the fore thanks to a docuseries aired by Lifetime. Surviving R. Kelly, as the series is called, explores claims from various women who claim that the Ignition artist sexually harassed or abused them, sometimes when they were minors under the age of 16.
Following the documentary's popularity, various stars who have worked with Kelly in the past have been put on blast for collaborating with him, especially as rumours about his misconduct have been flying about since the 1990s. Lady Gaga was one of these celebrities, as she worked with Kelly on the 2013 hit, Do What U Want (With My Body).
Today, however, she spoke out in order to assure her fans that she believe's Kelly's alleged victims, and that she regrets working with the artist all those years ago.
"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," she wrote in a statement that was posted to Twitter.
"As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the 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. 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 went on to say that, if she could go back and change her decision, she would have done.
"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."
Many of her fans supported her in her statement, though others criticised her for taking so long to condemn Kelly's actions.
"Working with that man in 2013 was appalling considering the circumstances," said one person. "I'm glad she's finally made a public apology. At the very least, it brings more attention to this atrocity. I'm a fan too, but when someone is wrong, they have a responsibility to speak up."
This led others to point out that there are plenty more celebrities who have worked with Kelly that haven't denounced his behaviour.
Still, it is true that Gaga was aware of Kelly's problematic history before she agreed to work with him.
In 2008, just five years before their collaboration, Kelly stood trial on charges of making a sex tape with an under-age girl. He was found not guilty, but later went on to face other accusations of sexual misconduct against underage girls. More recently, it was alleged that he had relations with many women whom he kept under his control as part of a sex cult.
Thus far, he has denied any and all allegations, and - just this week - declared to fans on stage, "It's my f**king birthday and I don't give a f**k what's going on."
He is currently under investigation.