Erykah Badu is under fire for defending fellow R&B singer R. Kelly amid the fallout from a TV documentary series detailing numerous allegations of sexual abuse against Kelly.
During a performance Saturday at the Aragon Ballroom in Kelly’s hometown of Chicago, Badu told the crowd: “I don’t how everybody else feel about it, but I’m putting up a prayer right now for R. I hope he sees the light of day if he done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about. I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”
As the crowd booed at the mention of Kelly, Badu continued:
“That’s not love — that’s not unconditional love,” she said “What if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender? Are we gonna crucify them? How do we do this? Just something to think about. … I just want peace and love for everybody.”
In an apparent attempt to clarify her position, Badu tweeted the next day: “I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices. I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you? That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”
Badu is among a number of celebrities who declined to appear in the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, according to dream hampton, the series’ executive producer.
Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, Dave Chappelle, Lady Gaga and Questlove allegedly turned down interviews for the six-part series, which aired earlier this month on Lifetime.
Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography in 2008 after a video surfaced that allegedly showed him having sex with an underage girl, is accused of holding five women in a sex cult throughout 2017 and 2018, with a former girlfriend alleging that he had sexual contact with girls as young as 14. In October, ex-wife Andrea Kelly accused the beleaguered R&B singer/songwriter of domestic violence.
Kelly has repeatedly denied all claims.