Back in 2013, Lady Gaga did something that she would never do in the present day: she collaborated with R. Kelly, who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault over the past two decades, all of which was brought to light in the recent docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly.
Following public backlash, the A Star Is Born actress took to Twitter to share a long and emotional apology.
“I stand behind these women 1,000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” she wrote. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”
Even six years ago, the duet was deemed bizarre. Though Kelly had been acquitted on child pornography charges, his reputation remained unsavoury. Their track, from Gaga's Artpop album, is painfully titled 'Do What U Want.'
In her tweet, Gaga says both the song and video were made at a "dark time" in her life, when she was angry and "still hadn't processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life."
At the time, Gaga explained during a press conference that they'd bonded over "untrue" rumours that had followed their careers.
“R. Kelly and I have sometimes very untrue things written about us, so in a way, this was a bond between us," she told reporters. "That we were able to say, the public, they can have our bodies, but they cannot have our mind or our heart. It was a really natural collaboration."
The comments have come to light in the midst of awards season, of which Gaga is undoubtedly a crowd favourite. It also coincides with the upcoming release of Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly that uncovers a slew of allegations against the rapper.
Gaga, in conjunction with other prominent members of the music industry reportedly declined to participate in the series. Earlier today, fans demanded that she issue an apology, here's what about Lady Gaga's silence: