Azriel Clary, one of R. Kelly’s accusers, revealed how he coached her ahead of a 2019 interview with CBS’ Gayle King.
In a new interview with Gayle King, the 23-year-old woman revisited the first time she spoke with the journalist on national television. At that time, Azriel Clary was one of R. Kelly’s girlfriends and defended him amid widespread allegations of sexual abuse.
Over two years later, Clary detailed how R. Kelly directed her and Joycelyn Savage to behave in the 2019 interview.
“He came in and he told us to be angry and upset,” she told King on CBS Mornings. “And so we came in angry.”
Clary regretted how she appeared to the public, which was part of why she wanted to speak with King again.
“I was scared because I was like, ‘I don’t want the world to see me this way,’” she said. “I’m loving, I’m caring, I’m compassionate. And no one got to see that side of me.”
King asked Clary what she and Savage were dishonest about in their original conversation.
“Everything,” Clary insisted.
She then recalled how R. Kelly prepared them to answer King’s questions in 2019.
“Before that interview, he had us practicing every single day,” she explained. “Answering questions. And if he didn’t like our answer, he would tell us exactly what to say and how to say it. So any time you mentioned anything about sexual preference, we already know to say, ‘I’m not here to talk about that.’ ‘Cause that’s what he told us to say.”
According to Clary, R. Kelly was very pleased with their performance on CBS.
“He was so happy,” she remembered. “He was like, ‘You guys did amazing. You did so well. You carried yourself so well.’ I believe he even got food and wanted to celebrate. That’s how happy he was with that interview.”
Clary testified against R. Kelly at his racketeering and sex trafficking trial. He was convicted on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act.
R. Kelly is facing 10 years to life in prison. He will be sentenced in May 2022.