R. Kelly Accuser Jerhonda Pace Responds to His Interview: 'What I Saw Was a Man That Needs Help'
Jerhonda Pace says a psych evaluation on R. Kelly is "mandatory" after his CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King
An R. Kelly accuser who claims the singer groomed her for sex when she was 16 says the R&B star is a man in need of help, and that a psych evaluation is “mandatory” after his heated interview with Gayle King.
Jerhonda Pace, 25, wrote on Facebook that upon viewing a clip of Kelly’s volatile CBS This Morning interview, she saw not her alleged abuser but “a man that needs help.”
“For decades he’s been around enablers who never told him the truth. When you’ve been doing wrong for decades, and the people around you makes you feel that your actions are right, you tend to believe that you’re doing no wrong,” she wrote.
Pace added that she does not want to see Kelly — who has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims — go to jail, as locking him up will not cure his behavior.
“I don’t believe that prison will help or ‘fix’ Robert’s actual problems. Truth is he’s fighting for his beliefs. In his heart, mind, body, and soul he believes he’s done no wrong,” she wrote. “I think asylum is what he needs: 24/7 care and attention. A psych evaluation is mandatory. Mental health is important.”
Pace later defended her stance in the comments section of the post after users took issue with her position.
“I am in no way supporting or defending his actions. He did all of those things,” she wrote. My question is: how can someone take accountability for something that they don’t believe they did? He thinks he did no wrong. If he goes to jail, he’s locked away as a victim. Asylum gets him help: admittance, acceptance, accountability, and justice.”
Kelly’s explosive interview with King marked his first public comments since his arrest.
In the sit-down, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer, 52, denied ever breaking any laws, and grew increasingly emotional, at one point standing up in tears and yelling.
“Forget how you feel about me! Hate me if you want to, love me if you want, but use your common sense! How stupid would it be for me with my crazy past and what I’ve been through to be like, ‘Oh right now, I think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain ‘em up in my basement and don’t let ‘em eat and don’t let ‘em out?” he said.
He continued, “Stop it. Y’all, quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me! I’m fighting for my f-ing life! Y’all killing me with this s-. I gave you 30 years of my f-ing career! Thirty years of my career! And y’all are trying to kill me? You killing me, man! This is not about music! I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids! And I can’t do it! Y’all just don’t want to believe the truth! You don’t want to believe it!”
Pace told PEOPLE in January she first met Kelly in Chicago in 2008, when she was just 14.
“Rob was my first everything. I met him outside of the child-pornography trial, about two weeks before my 15th birthday. I was a huge fan of his music and was at the trial every day,” she said.
Pace said that one day, Kelly stopped and thanked her for her support, promising he would give her something once the trial was over. Eventually, she got his autograph and a friend request on MySpace.
She says that two years later, when she was 16, they met up at a party, where he told her to act 21 and tell everyone she was 19.
RELATED: R. Kelly Claims Abuse Allegations Are ‘Lies’ in Emotionally Charged Interview, Blames ‘Social Media’
Of the first time she went to his house, she told PEOPLE: “He told me to take off my clothes and walk back and forth like I was modeling for him. I thought it was no big deal. But the requests became more demanding. I had to perform sexual acts with others. He coached me on what to say to my mom. He slapped me, choked me until I passed out. If it wasn’t for him spitting in my face, I’d probably still be there. That was my lowest point.”
Pace’s family hired an attorney and they filed a civil suit, which she has said she eventually settled for $1.5 million.
“It hasn’t been easy pulling my life together. I still get paranoid,” she said. “If I could tell him anything now, it would be to get help.”
Pace previously told The Real in September 2017 that Kelly groomed her for sex when she was 16, and had a woman teach her sexual acts to perform on him.
She said she eventually escaped by making up a lie about getting shoes from her uncle’s house before a party he was throwing.
Kelly was released from jail Feb. 25 after being indicted by a grand jury on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims, Cook County Sheriff confirmed to PEOPLE.
The star secured his release by paying 10 percent of his $1 million bail amount hours after attorney Steven Greenberg pleaded not guilty on his behalf, according to the Associated Press.
Kelly has repeatedly denied all claims against him. A renewed interest in the allegations emerged earlier this year with the release of the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.
“We are proud that Lifetime was able to provide a platform for survivors to be heard,” producers of the documentary previously told PEOPLE in a statement.
If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.