this morning

Azriel Clary, R. Kelly Survivor, Says 2019 Gayle King Interview Was a ‘Blessing’

Azriel Clary, the 23-year-old R. Kelly survivor who previously defended the convicted sexual abuser, returns to CBS Mornings with co-host Gayle King to discuss his guilty verdict. “I really had to come to terms and realize that it wasn’t love,” she recalled. “Love doesn’t hurt.” Clary, who was first abused by Kelly at 17, left seven months after the defensive interviews. This August, she testified against him during his federal racketeering and sex-trafficking trial, where he was convicted of nine charges. “It was very disturbing to have to relive those moments,” she said about taking the stand. “A piece of me was happy, yeah, because I felt like this person no longer has control over me.”

Back in 2019, she and Joycelyn Savage, another survivor, described their relationship with Kelly as consensual, denying the accusations from previous underage victims with answers allegedly provided by Kelly. After his own explosive interview with King, Clary says the abuser instructed them to be “angry” and “upset.” CBS Mornings was also not aware he was in the room at the time. “Even I have to take accountability for my actions,” she told King today. “It’s okay to reevaluate your life. It is okay to change your mind. You are never too old to wake up and say, ‘Hey, I thought this was good for me, but it’s actually not.’”

Azriel Clary Says R. Kelly Manipulated Gayle King Interview