Beyoncé‘s father and Destiny’s Child manager, Mathew Knowles, kept a close watch on the group when they worked with R. Kelly. In a new interview with Metro UK, Knowles, 67, said that members Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett didn’t leave his sight.
“I was there and my former wife, Tina, was there,” he told the outlet. “The thing with R. Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight. And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing.”
He continued, “The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them,” he said. “They did not leave our eyes.”
And while Knowles said the song never made it to the girls’ album because he felt it wasn’t good enough, he admitted that the rumors surrounding the “Ignition” singer, now 52, did affect his decision.
“I personally rejected the song because I didn’t think it was a good song. Not just because of [his] reputation. This was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things.” But, he added, “Certainly, it was both of those things.”
“To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all,” John tweeted on Jan. 3. “I believe these women and don’t give a f—k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”
Nearly a week later, on Jan. 9, Gaga — who collaborated with the singer on “Do What U Want (With My Body)” — apologized for not speaking out sooner. “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” she, too, wrote on Twitter. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life. My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life. The song is called ‘Do What U Want (With My Body).’ I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
R. Kelly’s rep told In Touch they had “no comment” about the allegations brought to light in Surviving R. Kelly.