Lady Gaga said she was sorry for collaborating with accused abuser R. Kelly and vowed to remove their song from iTunes and streaming services.
The pop star released the track “Do What U Want (With My Body)” with Kelly in 2013.
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” Gaga shared in a tweet late Wednesday. “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.”
Years before the song came out, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges at the end of a highly publicized trial. He was also accused of marrying the late singer Aaliyah during the mid-1990s when she was 15.
Kelly has been accused of additional offenses of sexual misconduct and of controlling the lives of multiple women in the years after his song with Gaga was released. A six-part documentary series addressing some of the allegations against Kelly aired on Lifetime last week.
Kelly has denied all allegations.
Gaga and Kelly also took part in sexually charged performances of “Do What U Want (With My Body)” on “Saturday Night Live” and at the American Music Awards in 2013.
In her tweet Wednesday, Gaga said she believes the women who spoke out against Kelly and stands behind them “1000 percent.”
“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,” Gaga continued in the post. “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 went on to apologize for “my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
Gaga had explained her reasoning for doing the song during a press conference in 2013.
“R. Kelly and I have sometimes very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us,” Gaga said at the time. “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.”