In the newest episode of Out Loud with Claudia Jordan, R. Kelly‘s former “girlfriend” Azriel Clary sat down to discuss her life after her time with the controversial crooner. The messiness of her situation has played out in the public eye for everyone to see, and according to her, a lot of the criticism and backlash she received for speaking out against him was from fellow Black people.
In the video, though Jordan and Clary talked about various things, including her music and upcoming projects, the bulk of the conversation was focused on her journey as a survivor. When asked what gave her the courage to speak up, she said it’s the healing that has come from sharing her story.
“Well, this is already pretty public, and you know, at the end of the day, this is my life more importantly,” she told Jordan. “I feel like it’s very important that I control the narrative of my life rather than having too many people pick and choose and run with what they want to run with and put lies into my story.”
She admitted that it was difficult to watch people tell fabricated stories about her experience and criticize her, especially her own people. However, she said that resentment made it all the more necessary to be vocal.
“For me personally, it was quite disturbing,” she said. “The majority of the backlash I received was from the Black community and other influencers and celebrities. More importantly, that’s kind of what made me feel like it is quite important that I share this because there are so many people that are just like me. Victims are not the ones that should be shamed. It should be the predator. It should be the abuser.”
She was 17 when she ended up leaving her parents and began living with R. Kelly. She’s 23 now. She has claimed during her time with him that he beat her and made her do “degrading” things on camera, including child pornography.
“He beat me with a shoe … a size 12,” she said of the abuse. “He beat me all over. Which felt like hours. And I was [hit] all the way from my neck down.”
Clary seems like she’s doing everything she can to be at the forefront of her own healing while also helping others who might have gotten themselves into similar abusive situations. Even though she’s felt the Black community hasn’t supported her in the past, in light of her expressing how that alienation has made her feel, hopefully, more people can rally behind her now.