Although she has long been a vocal ally to victims of sexual assault, Lady Gaga has faced significant criticism for working with R. Kelly on a 2013 track entitled “Do What U Want (With My Body).” Now, as sexual assault allegations against the R&B singer have resurfaced, in part because of the six-part documentary series called Surviving R. Kelly, Gaga has released a statement about her R. Kelly collaboration and further vowed never to work with him again.
Late Wednesday, Gaga took to Twitter with a written statement that began, “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. What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”
She continued, “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and 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.” Gaga admitted that if she could go back in time and talk to her younger self, she would encourage herself to go to therapy or seek help in whatever way was available.
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support” all people who have been victims of sexual assault, Gaga wrote. “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.”
Gaga pledged to remove the song from iTunes and other streaming platforms and also vowed never to work with R. Kelly again. She concluded her statement, “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.”