Women speaking out in R. Kelly case could help local victims

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58/CBS News) ---  In an exclusive interview that aired Wednesday, singer R. Kelly told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King that the sexual abuse allegations against him are lies.  

R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Authorities say three of the four alleged victims were underage when the suspected crimes happened.

During the 80-minute interview with King, raw emotions came from R. Kelly as he defended himself, and said he was not guilty. Yet, King remained calm and collected even when he stood up and started shouting.

“I never felt, he was going it hurt me. What I was worried about that in his flailing that he was accidentally going to hit me,” King said. “I think in a moment like that I think it's best just to remain calm.”

King’s demeanor is something local centers say we can all learn from.

“I think one of the strategies you could do is what Gayle did. She spoke calmly, she said his name, she looked directly at him and she didn't escalate the situation,” President & CEO Sojourner Peace Center Carmen Pitre said.

Pitre said R. Kelly’s case and seeing victims share their stories helps survivors here in Wisconsin too.

 “It gives permission to people who are afraid to come forward,” Pitre said. “It makes it a little more safe and acceptable to speak the truth of what happened to them.”  

To see more of the CBS This Morning interview, click here. 

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