Music News

Former R. Kelly girlfriend Azriel Clary reveals he told her to “be angry” in 2019 interview with Gayle King

L-R: Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage following an R. Kelly hearing in Chicago Sept. 17, 2019 in Chicago; Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Two years after defending R. Kelly in an interview with Gayle KingAzriel Clary spoke with King again Thursday on CBS Mornings and revealed Kelly coached her to “be angry” during the first interview.

“He had us practicing every single day,” Clary told King Thursday. “Answering questions. And if he didn’t like our answers, 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,’ because that’s what he told us to say every single time.”

Clary told King that after their 2019 conversation, she realized that her relationship with the “Bump ‘n Grind” singer “wasn’t love. Love doesn’t hurt.” She also noted that Kelly was “so happy” with her and Joycelyn Savage’s performance during that first King interview. He also thought he “made a great reflection of himself” during his now-infamous interview with King, during which he cried and denied the sex abuse allegations.

In the 2019 interview, Clary, 22, also vehemently denied claims by her parents that she was “brainwashed” by Kelly. But she testified against Kelly in his recent trial in Brooklyn, NY, in which he was found guilty Monday on all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking.

Speaking with King Thursday, Clary also discussed her testimony during the trial, which the judge said was “so graphic” that it would not be released to the public.

“I feel like it was very disturbing to have to relive those moments,” Clary said, but added, “A piece of me was happy because I felt like this person no longer has control over me. You don’t tell me what to do and what to wear and where to go and how long to be in a room anymore.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.