Lady Gaga has finally broken her silence on her past collaboration with R. Kelly. It’s been one week since Lifetime aired its six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. The allegations brought forth by Kelly’s victims, which include statutory rape, sexual assault, possession of child pornography, and holding women captive against their will, have resulted in public outrage and renewed calls to prosecute the rapper—who has ducked and dodged charges for nearly 20 years.
However, Lady Gaga, who teamed up with Kelly for her 2013 Artpop song “Do What U Want,” has refrained from commenting on the situation—until now.
In the early hours of January 10th, Gaga tweeted a response and an apology for working with the singer, whose questionable treatment of women was already public knowledge at the time of their collaboration. “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault” Gaga wrote. She attached a note that read:
She continued: “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. 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.”
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now.”
Many are glad Gaga spoke up about the situation.
Although it’s important to hear from those with public platforms like Gaga, it’s even more important to continue to hear and listen to the women who were affected by R. Kelly’s abuse. We’re still listening, and as investigations into the singer develop in several states within the U.S., we’ll be standing right beside them, demanding justice.
If you are a sexual assault survivor and need help, do not hesitate to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.