Lady Gaga has apologised over her collaboration with controversial R&B singer R Kelly, and vowed to have it removed from streaming services.
Kelly is the subject of a new documentary that details the multiple allegations that he sexually abused women and underage girls. He has consistently and vehemently denied the allegations over the past two decades.
Gaga released the ARTPOP single “Do What U Want” featuring Kelly in 2013. She came under scrutiny towards the end of last year, after the producer of Surviving R Kelly claimed she had been approached to be interviewed in the documentary, but declined.
In a statement on Twitter posted on 10 January, Gaga wrote: “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and 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.”
She added: “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.
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him [Kelly] again. I’m sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019