On Sunday night, the documentary Surviving R. Kelly premiered on the Lifetime network.
Though most of the shocking claims about Kelly's numerous sex crimes had previously been made public, many viewers were still shocked by the allegations put forth by journalist dream hampton.
Numerous celebrities who have collaborated with or defended Kelly in the past have come under fire for the refusal to speak out against him.
One such public figure is Lady Gaga.
In 2013, long after many of the most egregious allegations against Kelly had become public knowledge, Gaga collaborated with the singer on a song troublingly titled "Do What You Want (With My Body)."
The song was accompanied by provocative live performances, as well as a music video that was shelved amidst extreme controversy.
Gaga did not speak out against Kelly at the time, and she maintained her silence following the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly.
Several media outlets alleged that Gaga was maintaining her silence out of concern for her own public image, particularly in the midst of her Oscar campaign for A Star Is Born.
Some even went so far as to accuse the singer of rank hypocrisy.
As fans know, Gaga is herself a sexual assault survivor, and she contributed a song to the soundtrack of the documentary The Hunting Ground, which focused on the growing crisis of sexual assault on American college campuses.
Today, Gaga broke her silence and issued a lengthy statement on her Instagram page.
In the heartfelt post, she revealed that her decision to collaborate with Kelly and to remain silent on the subject of his alleged crimes both stemmed directly from the trauma she's endured as a sexual assault victim.
“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."
“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," she says.
"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."
“If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in," Gaga added.
"Or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation — to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through."
In conclusion, she adds:
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault.”
Hopefully, fans and the media will applaud Gaga's most recent actions, rather than continuing to shame her for her painful past.