R&B singer R Kelly has revealed he was sexually abused by a female family member when he was a child.
The I Believe I Can Fly star kept the alleged abuse hidden opening up about it in his 2012 memoir, Soulacoaster, and now he is revealing more about the incidents that occurred when he was between the ages of seven and 15.
"(It was something I) put so far in the back of my mind that I even forgot about it," he tells GQ magazine in a candid new expose. "As I got older, the more I just didn't want it to be in my past the more I became successful. I didn't want that to be something that was in my luggage once I got to my success home, so to speak."
The 49-year-old goes on to reveal that a trusted family friend showed him his penis when he was a child and tried to get him to masturbate for money. Kelly refused. A female relative also abused him by forcing him to perform oral sex and then having intercourse with her.
"At first, I couldn't judge it," he says. "I remember it feeling weird. I remember feeling ashamed. I remember closing my eyes or keeping my hands over my eyes. I remember those things, but couldn't judge it one way or the other fully."
The singer began to enjoy the encounters as he got older, but they stopped when he fell in love for real and realised the abuse was not supposed to be happening. He later tried to confront his alleged abuser, but she dismissed his claims.
"(She) didn't want to talk about it," he says. "Didn't own up to it. Told me, 'Sometime when you're kids, you think you've been through something, or did something, that you didn't do, probably was a dream'. Things like that. But it was definitely not a dream."
Kelly admits he has forgiven his early sex partners, realising they were just part of a cycle of abuse: "As I'm older, I look at it and I know that it had to be not just about me and them, but them and somebody older than them when they were younger, and whatever happened to them when they were younger.
"I looked at it as if there was a sort of like, I don't know, a generational curse, so to speak, going down through the family. Not just started with her doing that to me."