Embattled R&B star R. Kelly angrily blamed his ex-wife for “destroying” his name and claimed other people stole from his bank accounts in an interview that aired Thursday, a day after he was sent to jail for not paying child support, the Associated Press reports. Kelly, who is also facing felony charges that allege he sexually abused three girls and a woman in Chicago years ago, shouted and cried as he spoke with “CBS This Morning.” He said his ex-wife was lying when she accused him of domestic abuse and his voice broke as he asked: “How can I pay child support if my ex-wife is destroying my name and I can’t work?” The 52-year old singer was jailed after he said he couldn’t afford to pay $161,000 in back child support. The interview was the first time Kelly has spoken publicly since his arrest last month. Kelly pleaded with viewers to believe he never had sex with anyone under age 17 and never held anyone against their will, likely hoping the raw interview would help sway public opinion.
The interview marked the first time he addressed allegations in the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired in January and alleged he held women captive and ran a “sex cult.” Experts said Kelly’s appearance could backfire if it gives prosecutors more information to use against him at trial. That’s why most defense attorneys urge clients to keep quiet.“I n my history as a prosecutor, I loved it when a defendant would say things or make comments about his or her defense,” said Illinois Appellate Judge Joseph Birkett, speaking only as a former prosecutor. There have been cases in which people who spoke up pointed to evidence that ultimately helped win their freedom, but “historically it’s a bad idea,” Birkett said.