Gaga took to Twitter Wednesday to write that she had collaborated with Kelly on Do What U Want (With My Body) during a “dark time” in her life as a victim of sexual assault.
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“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,” Gaga wrote, referring to the women who spoke out against the Ignition Remix singer in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary series.
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,” Gaga wrote.
The Bad Romance singer wrote that she’s sorry for her “poor judgment” when she was young and “for not speaking out sooner.”
“I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young and for not speaking out sooner,” she wrote.
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She continued: “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.”
She said she should have sought therapy or other help instead.
“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,” Gaga wrote.
She wrote that she will not work with Kelly again.
“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,” the A Star Is Born actress wrote.
She continued: “I share this not to make excuses for myself but to explain. Till 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.”
Gaga has been an advocate for sexual assault survivors for many years. In 2014, she revealed that she was sexually assaulted when she was 19 years old.
In 2015, Gaga released a song titled Til It Happens To You for The Hunting Ground, which is a documentary about sexual assault on college and university campuses.
Gaga also co-wrote an op-ed with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015. The op-ed urged state lawmakers to support policies that combat sexual assault at the state’s public college campuses. Shortly after, the state’s Enough Is Enough legislation was passed.
According to the Enough is Enough campaign page, the legislation “requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, a statewide amnesty policy and expanded access to law enforcement. With this law, we will better protect all of New York’s college students from rape and sexual assault.”
Gaga and Kelly performed Do What U Want together on Saturday Night Live and at the American Music Awards.
Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly series, which aired this month, looks at the singer’s history and allegations that he has sexually abused women and girls. Kelly has denied any wrongdoing.
—With files from the Associated Press