In the run-up to R. Kelly's federal court appearance in Brooklyn next month, the disgraced singer's crisis manager Darrell Johnson sat down for an interview with Gayle King to discuss the allegations leveled against his client. Johnson defended Kelly, who is facing a combined 18 counts in Illinois and New York including child pornography, but he refused to say that he would leave his own daughter with him. "I would not leave my daughter with anyone who's accused of pedophilia," he said.
Following the interview he stepped down from his role for "personal reasons." In an interview with TMZ, Johnson clarified that he wasn't fired from his position for what he said, but he has also backtracked on his comments. "I had some personal issues back at my hometown," Johnson told TMZ. "I decided at this particular time it was best to step away. One of my family members is on their deathbed right now and I'm going to go attend to that."
As for the interview, which got awkward when Johnson denied the allegations against Kelly while also explaining that he wasn't willing to leave his daughter alone with him, Johnson said he has "nothing against" Gayle and CBS. "I just think that when you do a taped interview that can be chopped up, and my words [are] my words... I'd pull back if I had to do it again," he continued. "I would one thousand percent leave my daughter—which this is not what this is about—with Mr. Kelly if I had to leave."
It's unclear why he changed his mind on the subject, but he did explain that Kelly has been acquitted of some of the previous abuse charges he's faced.
R. Kelly is currently being held in solitary confinement at a Chicago prison, and will soon be transported to New York to face his felony charges on Aug. 2. The case in Illinois alleges that he made videotapes of himself having sex with a number of underage girls. If convicted of the charges in the Illinois case alone, he could face up to 195 years.