Azriel Clary is stepping up and speaking out. Clary sat down with Gayle King of CBS Mornings to clear the air and revisit her explosive interview with King, days after Kelly was found guilty on all nine counts in his federal sex trafficking case. The 23-year-old survivor revealed that nothing she stated in her last interview was true and that Kelly coached her (and Joycelyn Savage) prior to the televised moment.
“I was lost and I felt invisible and I gave someone that control over me to basically make me do whatever they wanted me to do and act however they wanted me to act,” Clary told King. She revealed that he prepared her and Savage for days, and coached them “to be angry and be upset” before sitting down for the March 2019 interview. “I was scared because I was like ‘I don’t want the world to see me this way.’ I’m loving. I’m caring. I’m compassionate and no one got to see that side of me.”
She later recalled that after their sit-downs with King, the singer was in a celebratory mood and happy about how the young women carried themselves. “Truthfully, he believed he had done well. He felt he had made a great reflection of himself and where he was in life and how these women were lying on him,” she reflected.
Clary also spoke on who she was at the time and stated, “With me being very young at that time, I just learned to normalize [Kelly’s behavior].” When asked what could have anybody said or done to help Clary leave sooner, the young woman responded, “Nothing. That is something I would’ve had to woken up from myself.”
Prior to Kelly’s guilty verdict and her latest interview with King, Clary testified during the trial detailing how Kelly began sexually abusing her at the age of 17.
Clary and Joycelyn Savage were two of R. Kelly’s most recent live-in girlfriends when the eye-opening Surviving R. Kelly docuseries aired in January 2019. Two months later, the trio sat with King on CBS This Morning where Kelly exclaimed he was “fighting for [his] f**king life.”
Savage and Clary (then 21) vehemently, albeit tearfully, defended the singer against all allegations of a sex cult and more. Clary declared that their parents were exploiting the singer for money. Seven months later, Clary moved out and returned home to her family.
Watch Clary’s full interview with Gayle King below.