Gayle King has conducted interviews with several key individuals in the ongoing R. Kelly sexual abuse case. Following the explosive sit-down she had with the singer himself, King spoke to two of his live-in girlfriends, and most recently, the CBS anchor interviewed the parents of Azriel Clary, one of the young women Kelly is currently in a relationship with.
Azriel first met Kelly back in 2015, when she was 17-years-old. Her parents, Alice and Angelo were skeptical at first, however when both Azriel, an aspiring singer, and Kelly assured them that their relationship was purely professional, the Clarys allowed their daughter to continue seeing him. When Kelly asked Azriel to accompany him on tour, the young girl told her parents that if they didn't let her go, she would kill herself or run away from home. Her parents ultimately granted Azriel their permission, in part because of her past suicide attempt.
"I trusted my daughter would be honest with us, and this was strictly her music," Angelo explained. "R. Kelly had a platform, as big as music could ever give somebody. I didn't see the label stop supporting him."
In their first interview since appearing in the Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly, Alice and Angelo Clary explain that they were assured by women who supposedly worked with R. Kelly that their daughter was in "good hands."
However, the Clarys allege that they haven't seen their daughter in three years and they feel responsible for allowing the singer to take advantage of them and their daughter. "I feel like I failed my daughter because I should have saw different signs," her father admitted. "I should have saw the change in my baby girl instead of the love that we instilled in her, that she was showing us and putting on a charade. So guess what? We can take responsibility. But to the world, how much responsibility did R. Kelly take?"
However, when Azriel sat down with King last week, she expressed that she's in love with the 52-year-old and claimed that her parents are not being honest. According to the 21-year-old, her parents tried to coerce her into sending explicit, sexual messages to Kelly when she was still a minor. "When I was 17, my parents were actually making me, trying to get me to take photos with him, take sexual videos with him, all kinds of stuff."
Azriel also stated that her parents tried to exploit the inappropriate nature of she and Kelly's relationship in hopes of being compensated. "They said, 'Oh, I'll put all your naked pictures all over the world. I'm going to ruin you, I'm going to ruin him. If he doesn't send $20,000 to this bank account by Monday, oh, I'm gonna put everything out there, and then $10,000 after that.' You're trying to solicit me like I'm some fucking ho. I'm not, I'm your child." Both she and fellow live-in girlfriend Joycelyn Savage allege that the accusations lodged against Kelly are all a "fucking facade."
R. Kelly stands accused of 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse with four women, three of whom were minors when the crimes allegedly occured.