R. Kelly wasn’t having it during an interview with HuffPost Live on Monday, December 21. The R&B crooner, 48, became upset with host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani after she referred to his past sexual-abuse allegations and questioned whether he believes it’s what impacted sales of his new album.
The interview started out fine, with the two discussing his latest record, The Buffet, but things took an unpleasant turn after Kelly took offense when asked about the fans who can’t separate his music from the lawsuits and allegations that surround him. “Some people say they are conflicted and that they want to support the music … but they can’t support you,” Modarressy-Tehrani said. “I think people find it difficult to not think about … the lawsuits [about having] sexual relations with minors.”
Kelly, still relatively calm, responded by saying that not everyone feels that way toward him, and that he’s actually more successful now than he’s ever been. “I don’t know where you’re getting your information from,” he told her. “I’m a very successful and talented man. I love those that even come against me.” (According to HuffPost Live, The Buffet is projected to sell 100,000 fewer copies than his 2013 album, Black Panties.)
He became progressively more heated, and after Modarressy-Tehrani told him he could leave at any time, he responded: “If the next question is something negative out of your mouth, with all due respect, that’s exactly what I’ll wanna do.”
Modarressy-Tehrani attempted to keep asking the Grammy winner questions about his lyrics, but he ultimately felt he was being attacked. “I did not come here to get interrogated,” he told her. “This is a deposition … if you don’t think you’re disrespecting me, then that’s the level of your intelligence.”
R. Kelly then started to ask Modarressy-Tehrani a series of random questions, such as whether she drinks and gets drunk, to attempt to prove that the questions she was asking didn’t pertain to his music.
“You have no video questions for me, because this interview is over,” he finally told her before walking off.