Azriel Clary was one of the survivors who testified against R. Kelly during his recent sex trafficking trial – where he was found commit fraud and violate the Mann . Actbut two years ago she was interviewed on CBS this morning and enthusiastically defended the male R&B singer to co-host Gayle King. On Thursday, Clary back to the newly renamed name CBS Morning and told King that the singer was “in control” of her in March 2019.
“I lost. And I felt invisible,” Clary said, describing her state at the time of the interview. what they want me to do and act the way they want me to act.”
During the trial, Clary testified that Kelly began abusing her when she was 17 years old. previous interview, Clary has lived with Kelly for nearly five years. Based on CBS Morningshe moved out of the Chicago apartment she shared with the singer seven months after the interview aired.
The 23-year-old explained that because Kelly was interviewed by King first, he trained Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who were also interviewed by King, on how to answer the questions. “He walked in and told us to be angry and upset and she would try to do this,” Clary shared. “And so we were – we were angry.”
Kelly’s explosive interview with King went viral after he stood up and shouted into the camera. He also claimed at the time that he had been “assassinated” due to numerous reports that he was abusing underage women and girls.
When Clary interviewed King, she repeated his innocence and accused her parents of spreading lies to the media. The 21-year-old then called her father a “manipulative liar”. She added, “He’s someone you need to watch out for.”
When King asked Clary what she had been dishonest about in the interview, she replied, “Everything.”
Clary continued, “Before that interview, you know, he asked us to practice every day… answering questions. … And if he doesn’t like our answers, he will tell us exactly what to say and how to say it.”
King shared that Clary’s father contacted the journalist after seeing his daughter on television and said: “It’s not my daughter. That’s not who she is. That’s not how she said it. That’s not what she believes in.”
Clary said Kelly was “so happy” after he saw her response to King. “’He was, like, ‘You guys did great. You know, you did a great job. You carried yourself very well,” she recalls. “I believe he even, likes, has food and wants to celebrate.”
King questioned whether Clary or any of the other women she lived with were trying to rally together and said they weren’t being treated properly. Clary replied, “I feel like a lot of people tried, but everyone was always beaten because he was so good at manipulating the situation.”
She explained, “So even if he knew it or not, he would basically say – he could come into this room right now and he would say, ‘You know, I said Talk to Joy. She told me exactly what you guys said. Honestly, you have five minutes or you’ll be thrown around this whole room. ‘”
Clary says that environment feels “normal” to her: “It’s not just me but there are women older than me. You know, when I met him when I was 17, he had four other women. And so these women are all normalizing his actions. And then you have the assistants normalizing his actions,” she said. “And you have workers and security and other people normalizing it. So I was very young at the time, I just learned to normalize it.”
Clary detailed abusing Kelly at his trial. She called the flashbacks “unsettling” but added, “Part of me was happy because I felt like this person wasn’t in control of me anymore, you know? You didn’t tell me. know what to do and what to wear, where to go and how long to stay in the room”.
She concluded the interview and said that she had learned, “It’s okay to reevaluate your life. You can change your mind, you know? You’re never too old to wake up and say, “Hey, I think this is good for me, but it’s not.”
See the interview below.
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