“I stand behind these women 1,000 per cent, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” Gaga said in her lengthy statement which she shared to Twitter on Wednesday. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life,” the singer 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.”
Gaga has faced criticism in recent days for collaborating with the singer, especially after “Surviving R. Kelly”. The documentary featured interviews with dozens of women who leveled allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the performer. Kelly has vehemently denied all such allegations, both in the documentary and those made over the last several years.
Gaga went on to state that the title of her 2013 song with Kelly, “Do What U Want (With My Body),” made it “clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
“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 explained that she “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 singer said she shared her statement “not to make excuses for myself, but to explain.”
“I intend to remove this song off iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” Gaga declared. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.” In fact, iTunes has confirmed to ET Canada that the song is no longer available on its streaming services.
A new version of “Do What U Want”, featuring Christina Aguilera, is now available to stream and purchase on Apple Music and iTunes instead.
Aguilera took to Instagram Friday to voice her support for Gaga, posting:
View this post on Instagram
Cool to see the version of this song I did with @ladygaga on the charts again — this is a reminder of women sticking together— and not letting a man take ownership of a great song/ moment… And if anything the message of this song remains that although you may have had my body, you will never have my heart, my voice my life or my mind. Being a survivor of past predators myself, these lines spoke to me, which is why I did the song. I embrace all survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse holding a special place in my heart, and you @ladygaga, for doing the right thing! 💜
Fans on social media also praised Gaga for speaking out against Kelly.
There were others though that thought the apology came too late.
For more on the backlash, legal issues and allegations Kelly is facing due to the controversial documentary, watch the video below.