Iyanla Vanzant says she turned down R. Kelly when he reached out to be on her Oprah Winfrey Network series “Iyanla: Fix My Life.”
Vanzant spoke to ABC News about the interaction ahead of the season six premiere of her show. According to the motivational speaker, the R&B singer, who continues to face allegations of predatory and sexually abusive behavior with women and underage girls, wasn’t ready for her help.
Vanzant said Kelly reached out to her well before the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.”
“He didn't meet one of the criteria that we had for guests,” she said. “Are they willing? Are they ready? Do they have the capacity to do the work? He didn't have it, the emotional capacity. He just didn’t have it, and I knew, based on what I was looking at -- the paces I would have had to take him though -- it would have been brutal. He didn’t have the capacity because he hasn’t done the work.”
The TV personality, who said she’s experienced sexual violence herself, said that Kelly would need to own up to what he’s done for any healing to happen, but she said that prison isn’t the answer, either.
“I would never, ever condone or justify anything that he’s been accused of doing," she said. “But locking him up in jail is not the answer ... he’s sick ... Just like the people he allegedly committed these acts with -- they’re sick. This needs to be massive healing -- them, him all of them.
“But I do know, without some long-term intervention, he doesn’t have the capacity. Just wouldn’t be able to hear it, receive it. Classic thing is that he's not telling the truth about it.”
All of Vanzant’s interview can be watched on the ABC News website.
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