Lady Gaga has spoken out about the allegations of sexual assault against R. Kelly, as well as the song she collaborated with him on, "Do What U Want." It came in the form of a statement she tweeted on Jan. 10, and Lady Gaga's apology for working with R. Kelly sets an accurate example of how all artists should be responding, according to people on Twitter reacting to the statement. Elite Daily reached out to R. Kelly's team for comment on Gaga's statement and the allegations of sexual assault against him, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Gaga and R. Kelly's song "Do What U Want" is a sexually explicit track from ARTPOP. The lyrics go, "You can't have my heart and you won't use my mind, but do what you want with my body." They performed the song at the AMAs together in 2013. In her statement, Gaga — who has been open in the past about the fact that she was sexually assaulted when she was 19 — said that the song was written during a time in which she had not fully processed the trauma from being sexually assaulted.
"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," her statement started off. "What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible."
As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the 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 What U Want (With My Body)', I think it's clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I'd tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in— or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation— to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we've been through.
Elite Daily reached out to R. Kelly's team for comment on Gaga's statement
The statement not only explained how "Do What U Want" came about, but also how she plans to move forward in the wake of the allegations against R. Kelly in Surviving R. Kelly — a documentary series currently airing that features women who claim they were repeatedly assaulted and mistreated by R. Kelly for years. Elite Daily reached out to R. Kelly's team for comment on the allegations, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
I can't go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don't know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now. I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again. I'm sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.
Gaga has spoken out in support of survivors of sexual assault numerous times.
Most notably, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song for the song "Til It Happens To You" — made for the film about college campus sexual assault, The Hunting Ground.
She also gave a moving performance of the song at the 2016 Oscars alongside a group of sexual assault survivors.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.