Yesterday, R. Kelly sat down with Gayle King for his first interview since new allegations of sexual abuse against the singer have been revealed, most due in part to Lifetime’s docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly. Kelly got emotional during the sit-down and alleged that he is “fighting for his life” now that new evidence has surfaced against him, as he screamed, cursed, and nearly had to be restrained while King attempted to get to the bottom of the allegations, as The New York Times reported.
Kelly’s former backup dancer, Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, who once recorded a duet with Kelly, shared an update to her Instagram in which she called Kelly out for his “performance,” saying that she wondered if the Academy would consider his dramatic tantrum during the King interview for an award, while sharing a picture of a man in a suit taking a bow, as if he is about to exit a stage.
Sparkle also dragged Kelly on Twitter, saying that he has a “true sickness” since he doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
During the highly publicized docu-series, Sparkle was prominently featured for several interviews regarding the things she saw going on in Kelly’s Chicago recording studio — which now many are dubbing as a “sex dungeon,” as Kelly allegedly has kept young women held captive in the building, as well as in his Atlanta home.
Sparkle tearfully recounted some of the sexual misconduct she witnessed, as well as her own family’s account of her niece, who remained unnamed during the tell-all, who she claims fell prey to Kelly’s grasp, and started a sexual relationship with the much-older man while she was still a teenager. According to Sparkle, it was her niece that was featured on Kelly’s infamous sex tape, performing lewd acts on Kelly, and Sparkle was able to identify her family member as having the same hairstyle as her niece did when she was just 14-years-old.
Sparkle went to the authorities once she recognized her niece, but her brother-in-law and several other family members said that nothing suspicious was going on, as BET reported. The dancer faced some backlash from viewers of the Lifetime docu-series, and Sparkle insisted that she did not know that Kelly was engaged in illegal acts with her niece until she saw the tape in 2001. She further maintained that Lifetime did not air all of the content available to them that may have shown her in a different light.
She also said that the surrounding culture around Kelly and his fame made those in the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s inner circle do everything in their power to protect him, no matter the cost to the women involved.
“One young exec stated, I don’t care if that is him on that tape because we can’t afford to lose him. You don’t care if it is him on this tape with a young girl. I was like, ‘That shows what kind of person you are’,” Sparkle said, as Vibe shared.
Since the series aired, Sparkle has been outspoken against Kelly, and even dropped a single that she hoped would be an “anthem” of sorts for those involved in the devastating situation, called “We Are Ready.”