Lady Gaga, who collaborated with R. Kelly in 2013 and is a sexual assault victim, apologized on Wednesday night for working with the accused sexual predator. The pop star spoke out in response to being criticized for not appearing in the Lifetime docuseries about the singer’s alleged sexual abuse/misconduct, Surviving R. Kelly.
“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,” Gaga tweeted, referring to the women who shared their stories. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
Kelly is featured on Gaga’s single “Do What U Want (With My Body),” from her album ARTPOP. He co-wrote the song, which contains the lyrics, “Do what you want, what you want with my body / Do what you want, don’t stop, let’s party.”
The song will reportedly be removed from iTunes and other streaming platforms. In her statement, Gaga discussed how her unresolved trauma contributed to the song.
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the 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 life,” she wrote. “The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body)”, I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
The A Star Is Born lead actress continued, “If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in—or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation—to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through.”
Gaga added, “I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” she said in conclusion. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
Although the singer is now speaking out, Surviving R. Kelly producer dream hampton told The Detroit Press that Gaga was a part of a group of Kelly collaborators, which includes Questlove, Erykah Badu, Celine Dion and JAY-Z, who refused to participate in the documentary .
During a 2014 interview with Howard Stern, Gaga said she was sexually assaulted at the age of 19. Later that year, “Do What U Want,” was heavily criticized after Gaga and Kelly simulated sex during a November performance on Saturday Night Live.
Gaga is the latest artist to denounce Kelly. Chance the Rapper also apologized for working with the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer after the airing of Surviving R. Kelly.
Kelly has denied all the allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct.