R. Kelly, who was jailed on Wednesday for failing to pay more than $161,000 in back child support, says that he loves his kids, even though his relationship with them is “zero.”
The singer was taken into police custody after appearing at a hearing in Chicago. At the time, he was he was out on bail after being arrested for alleged sex abuse of four women, which he denies.
In a recent interview with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King, carried out before his latest arrest, Kelly discussed both legal cases and his ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly, who claimed in a recent Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, which focuses on sexual misconduct claims made against the singer, that he ex-husband abused her physically. He denied her allegations.
“What kind of woman would tear down a dad who’s trying to have a relationship with their kids? You know how many kids need a relationship with their father? Oh my God,” Kelly told King tearfully, adding that his relationship with their kids is “zero.”
The two share three children—daughter Buku Abi, 20, and sons Jay, 18, and Robert Jr., 16.
“But I know my kids love me,” the singer added. “And I’m in love with my kids. I love my kids.”
“How can I pay child support? How?!” he said, tearfully. “If my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can’t work? How can I work? How can I get paid? How can I take care of my kids? How? Use your common sense!”
In January, Buku Abi wrote on her Instagram Story about the sexual abuse allegations made against her father. The 20-year-old, previously known as Joann Kelly, said it has been years since she and her siblings have spoken to their dad.
She also wrote, “The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind.”
Later that month, she and her mother talked about the sex abuse allegations on Good Morning Britain. Buku Abi said her “heart is torn into two separate places,” adding, “It’s very painful to see that all of these people are now being affected and have been affected by somebody who I do care about and have a very strenuous relationship with.”
“I never came out and said what I said to make people feel like I hate him or I’m bashing him because that’s not it,” she added. “But if my father’s a toxic person then unfortunately we have to love him from a distance. There’s no love lost but I just had to separate myself.”
The singer’s attorney said in a statement at the time, “Mr. Kelly loves all of his children and would love to see them. Unfortunately, Andrea has been a roadblock.”