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By Hillary Crosley, Billboard
R. Kelly broke his silence about his recent acquittal on child pornography charges during an interview last night (Sept. 16) with BET News.
"If it has had any impact, I would hope it would be a positive impact and I can move on with my life," said Kelly in response to a question about whether the trial tarnished his career. "I hope people can give me my life back."
Kelly said people who'd spoken out against him during the past seven years were giving skewed opinions because he'd fired them, including his brother, Carey Kelly. The Kelly sibling told New York's Hot 97 radio station that R. Kelly attempted to bribe him if he would say the images in the pornographic videos at the center of the trial were of himself and not his famous brother.
"Unfortunately the people that don't work for me say that... and the people that don't work for me were fired," said Kelly. "Do not listen to the people that were fired, listen to the facts. I know people are out to get me because I'm very vulnerable, especially during a seven-year trial."
Questioned about his reported fondness for teenage sexual partners, Kelly responded, "When you say teenage, how old do you mean? I have some 19-year-old friends, but I don't like anyone illegal if that's what we are talking about, underage."
The singer said he hopes to move forward with his life by continuing to make honest music. "I'm not going to let this affect my gift," he said. "I've done vintage R. Kelly songs during the trial because I said no matter what, I'm not going to let this make me run under a rock and not do my job. Some people fall off and I chose not to do that."
To that end, Kelly is planning an African tour, during which he hopes to do some humanitarian work, and continues to work on his next Jive album, "12 Play 4th Quarter," a date for which has yet to be confirmed.
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