Lady Gaga has apologized for her 2013 duet with controversial singer R. Kelly and has vowed to remove the song from iTunes and all streaming platforms as a way to support the women who spoke out against the singer in the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.
“I stand behind these women 1000 percent, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” the singer tweeted Wednesday night.
For her 2013 album ARTPOP, Gaga featured a duet with R. Kelly, “Do What U Want (With My Body)”, something she now admits was an example of how “explicitly twisted” her state of mind was at the time.
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the songs and video at a dark time in my life, 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,” she wrote.
Referring to the allegations against the singer as “horrifying” and “indefensible”, Gaga said she will remove the song from iTunes and other streaming platforms and vows that she will “not be working with him again.”
“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.”
Further relating to the women who have spoken out against the singer citing sexual assault and abuse allegations, Gaga said she understands how they feel and wants to “go forward” with supporting those who have endured abuse.
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and 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. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now.”
The singer ended her note with an apology for her “poor judgment.” “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.”
Over the years, the R&B singer has been accused of domestic abuse and having sex with minors. He was also arrested in 2002 for his alleged involvement in a child pornography tape. Amid the Lifetime series, R. Kelly’s attorney has dismissed the claims, describing them as “another round of stories” made against Kelly.
The six-part docuseries narrates stories and allegations from a number of women, including his ex-wife Andrea Lee, former underage partner Lizzette Martinez and former backup singer Jovante Cunningham. The three-night, six-hour series averaged 2.1 million viewers, far bigger the cable channel’s usual viewership.
R. Kelly is currently under investigation for possible criminal charges in Georgia amid the docu-series.
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
This article originally appeared in THR.com.