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Lady Gaga Apologizes for Working with R. Kelly and Promises to Remove 'Do What U Want' from Streaming

‘I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time’

After mounting pressure to speak out and apologize for working with R. Kelly back in 2013, Lady Gaga issued an emotional statement detailing why she made the song and how she completely believes the women who spoke out in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary.

Last week, the Lifetime docuseries brought to light (once again) many of the allegations that R. Kelly had sexually abused multiple underage girls—accusations that had been previously largely ignored by both the public and those who were close to the R&B singer. R. Kelly has denied these allegations, but police have launched an investigation thanks to the reporting in the docuseries, and people want the #MuteRKelly movement to finally put a lid on his career.

The docuseries feels like a major turning point in the path towards justice, and celebrities like John Legend and Chance the Rapper even appeared on camera in solidarity with R. Kelly’s alleged victims. Viewers expected to see Lady Gaga in the special, but according to Surviving R. Kelly‘s producer Dream Hampton, the pop star turned down the opportunity. Gaga and R. Kelly worked together on ‘Do What U Want,’ the second single on her Artpop album, which was released in 2013.

Gaga and R. Kelly also collaborated on a music video for their song, but it was ultimately scrapped. We don’t know the exact reason why the video was never officially released, but the script sure sounds creepy. In the video, R. Kelly plays a doctor and Gaga plays a patient. She asks Dr. R. Kelly, ‘Will I ever be able to walk again?’ to which he responds, ‘Yes, if you let me do whatever I want with your body. I’m putting you under, and when you wake up, you’re going to be pregnant.’ Considering the numerous allegations against him, which were known to the public at the time of their collaboration, this career move made a lot of Gaga fans scratch their heads.

For years, Gaga barely addressed her work with R. Kelly, save for the one time she defended him: ‘R. Kelly and I have sometimes, very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us…It was a really natural collaboration.’

However, on January 10, Gaga finally issued a statement on Twitter apologizing for the song and for not speaking out sooner, and condemned 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,’ she wrote. ‘What I’m hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.’

She also described how ‘twisted’ her thinking was at the time and how being in a ‘post-traumatic state’ led her to working with him. Here’s Gaga in her own words:

‘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. The song is called ‘Do Want U Want (With My Body),’ I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.’

Gaga then said she would have told her younger self to seek help or go to therapy to understand how she was feeling. She ended the apology by saying she plans on removing the song from iTunes and streaming platforms and saying, ‘I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.’

This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan US

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