Saying that long-standing sexual-abuse allegations against R. Kelly reflected his "poor choices," singer Erykah Badu is attempting to clarify her earlier comments that offered him love and a prayer.
"I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn't mean I support your poor choices," Badu, 47, tweeted Sunday. "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."
A few songs into her Saturday concert at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, four-time Grammy Award-winner Badu referenced the recent Lifetime documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly,” which revived claims by multiple women who have accused the R&B star of sexual abuse going back nearly 20 years. Kelly has steadfastly denied the allegations.
"I don't know how everybody else feels about it but I'm putting up a prayer right now for R.," Badu told the audience in a video posted at TMZ.com. "I hope he sees the light of day if he's done all those things that we've seen on TV that those ladies talk about."
As the audience hooted and yelled angrily in response, Badu admonished the crowd, "That's not love. That's not unconditional. But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender? We gonna crucify them? I mean how do we do this? Just something to think about." She added, "Everybody involved has been hurt."
Three-time Grammy winner Kelly, 52, has not publicly acknowledged Badu's statements. In the wake of the documentary series, the Cook County state's attorney's office in Kelly's native Chicago said on Jan. 10 it is investigating new claims against the singer. Child pornography charges against Kelly in Illinois in 2002 resulted in acquittal at trial, and similar charges in Florida in 2003 were dropped.
Rapper Da Brat, 44, told TMZ.com Saturday that while she believed Kelly's accusers she also thought some of the victims' parents should also take responsibility for letting their children be in compromising situations.
"I think he needs help, for sure," she said. "I love him. I hope he don't get mad at me. And I think the parents need to take responsibility. Where is your 14-year-old child?"
The rapper also added that "never will I stop listening" to Kelly's music. "I might not buy it no more, but it’s already in my playlist!”
Some of Kelly's musical collaborators, including Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper, have expressed regret over working with him. Singer John Legend for a year has taken a strong stance supporting the accusers.