In the days since the Surviving R. Kelly documentary aired, a number of high-profile celebrities have weighed in and done everything from loudly support the victims to offering no comment to attempting to “both sides” and “none of our business” their way out of it.
Enter French Montana, who on Saturday night offered up one of the worst possible takes on R. Kelly before backtracking on Sunday. Caught by TMZ leaving the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after performing at halftime of Saturday’s NFL Divisional playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys, French Montana said that R. Kelly should have a right to enjoy his legacy despite the years of allegations surrounding his preying on young women and girls.
“All the greats went down like that,” French said. “Let somebody enjoy their legacy. Whatever happened, happened, man.”
“They [people] don’t let nobody have their legendary moments,” he added. “They did Michael Jackson like that. They did R. Kelly like that.”
That “whatever” was years of alleged and video taped sexual abuse of teenage girls and young women. French also said that Kelly was dropping clues in his music, seeming to imply that the women and girls should have known what he was about – a common tactic used by those who victim blame.
The valuing of “legacy” over victims may have worked in the past, but it doesn’t anymore. French seems to have gotten that memo from someone overnight, because he quickly changed his tune on Twitter on Sunday.
“Let me be clear. My heart is with the victims,” French tweeted on Sunday. “I never thought the people I looked up to as a kid, who sang and danced and gave me hope to become a superstar would become drug addicts, child molesters and rapists.
“I am hoping we as a culture create better leaders,” he ironically added. “We need them.”
Let me be clear. My heart is with the victims. I never thought the people I looked up to as a kid, who sang and danced and gave me hope to become a superstar would become drug addicts, child molestors and rapists. I am hoping we as a culture create better leaders. We need them.
— French Montana (@FrencHMonTanA) January 13, 2019