Lady Gaga is only now denouncing her 2013 collaboration with R. Kelly because she's concerned it will hurt her Oscars chances, according to the embattled R&B veteran's lawyer.
The Born This Way hitmaker broke her silence over the mountain of sexual misconduct accusations made against Kelly on Wednesday night (09Jan19), branding the claims "absolutely horrifying and indefensible" as she shared her support for his alleged victims in the wake of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which delved into the decades-long controversy.
In a lengthy statement posted online, Gaga, a survivor of sexual assault herself, expressed regret for working with the Ignition (Remix) star on her single Do What U Want, which featured on her album ARTPOP, and vowed to have it removed from her back catalogue on all streaming and download platforms.
She became the latest artist to distance themselves from Kelly in light of the damning documentary, which aired in the U.S. last week (ends04Jan19), but the 52 year old's lawyer, Steven Greenberg, claims Gaga has an ulterior motive for only now speaking out against her former collaborator.
"Lady Gaga did a song with him in 2013 and there were no problems (then). There were rumours about Mr. Kelly back then," Greenberg told U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.
"What has changed between then and now? I'll tell you what's changed between then and now: she says, 'If I don't disclaim my association with him, it might hurt my chance to get an Oscar.' That's exactly what it is."
Gaga has yet to respond to the remarks, but she has been hotly tipped to earn an Oscar nomination for her critically-acclaimed performance in Bradley Cooper's movie musical A Star Is Born.
Kelly has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but following the Surviving R. Kelly broadcast, prosecutors in Georgia and Illinois launched criminal investigations into his alleged actions.
However, the musician's lawyer is adamant the criminal probes will eventually fall apart.
"We know what happened and we know those things (instances of sexual misconduct) didn't happen," he declared. "The man was not operating a harem or a sex cult or holding people hostage or anything like that."
Instead, Greenberg wants his client to go after TV bosses behind the series.
"Hopefully he'll sue Lifetime... for defamation, because people shouldn't be able to do this to someone," he added.