Syleena Johnson says R. Kelly shouldn’t be in jail, but ‘insane asylum’

"I think he has mental illness. I think he’s a narcissist," said Johnson

Singer/songwriter and Chicago-native, Syleena Johnson, chimed in with her opinion on the conviction of disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly on federal sex trafficking charges.

In a Tuesday appearance on Fox Soul’s Cocktails with Queens, where Johnson is a co-host along with Claudia Jordan, LisaRaye McCoy, and Vivica A. Fox, the singer said that Kelly was a “narcissist” who should be put in a mental institution.

Syleena Johnson speaks during ‘BET Her Fights Breast Cancer’ special event at The Riverside EpiCenter on September 25, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

“I’m not gonna cry. I think he has really been misjudged here. I don’t think he needs to be in jail. I think he needs to be in an insane asylum. Real talk,” Johnson said, as reported by

“Don’t get it twisted,” she continued. “I think he needs to be in a straitjacket. I think some of the behavior that has been going down has been erratic, and I think that a lot of Black men in jail have been misjudged.”

She suggested that Kelly was one of the many Black men who have mental illness and are incarcerated instead of treated. “This dude needs real help. He needs to be in an insane asylum. Insane asylum! Real talk. On meds, drugged to the point where – constant therapy – it’s too much. It’s too much.”

Kelly was convicted on nine counts including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, sex trafficking, and a violation of the Mann Act, and dozens of witnesses testified to Kelly’s abusive sexual behavior.

R. Kelly Returns To Court For Hearing On Sex Abuse Allegations
R. Kelly appears at a hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building May 7, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool/Getty Images)

Yet, Johnson noted that Kelly is narcissistic because he is allegedly seeking to get a reduced sentence by disclosing other celebrities who have been involved in sexual misconduct.

“I just think he needs to be in an insane asylum because he’s crazy…I think he has mental illness. I think he’s a narcissist, I think he has mental illness. You’re very narcissistic if all this time you had this information on other people that were hurting people, and then it wasn’t until you found out you got in trouble, that now it’s pertinent.”

“That also means you didn’t ever think you were guilty of anything. You never thought you were gonna get caught. That’s crazy.”

Social media users were quick to comment on Johnson’s remarks. One wrote, “Claudia Jordan asked Lisa Raye if she still considers R. Kelly her friend, and her response was, “he didn’t do it to me.” Is that what it takes for her to support his victims and let go of that awful ass man? Then there’s Syleena Johnson…just cancel the whole show.”

Johnson’s name continued to trend through Thursday as fans speculated that she may be a contestant on the Fox competitive series, The Masked Singer.

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