R KELLY DEFENDS HIMSELF ON US TV

The star says he's not the man in the now notorious videtape...

R Kelly has spoken at length for the first time about allegations that he appears on a videotape having sex with an underage girl.

Speaking on US television last night (May 8), the R&B superstar denied he was on the tape and also attempted to clear his name against claims of involvement with other underage girls.

“I’ve done a lot of wrong things in my life, but I’m not a criminal, I’m not a monster,” he said on ‘Tonight with Ed Gordon’. “I can say it in all confidence that it’s not me because I didn’t do it. I want America to know that you can’t believe everything you hear, and nowadays, you can’t believe everything you see.”

Copies of the tape are on sale on street stalls in a number of US cities and on the Internet. R Kelly is still under investigation by the Chicago police over the allegations.

R Kelly also spoke about the raft of lawsuits taken out recently by women who claim he had sex with them when they were underage. He settled two of the suits out of court and said last night he did so on the advice of lawyers who told him it wasn’t worth his time to fight them. Last week his legal team vowed to fight a third suit which alleges he had an affair with a 15-year-old girl, got her pregnant then coerced her into having an abortion.

R Kelly said all the allegations in the new lawsuit were false.

The star, who was reportedly briefly married to late singer Aaliyah when she was 15, suggested other problems in his life, and said he is working with a pastor to help make himself a better person.

“I feel that I need help for that, I’m getting help for that… I’ve done a lot of things in my life right now that I’m trying to get help for.”