Us Weekly reports that Knowles recently sat down for an interview with Metro U.K., wherein he shared details of when the group worked with the singer many years ago.
“R. Kelly was managed by Sony, by someone I won’t name, and at that time, they would almost force you to record with [their] artists,” he told the new outlet.
“And R. Kelly wasn’t cheap – it was $75,000, plus travel costs, so we’re talking $100,000 for a song," Knowles went on to recall. "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.”
He admitted that the whispers of possible sexual assault and misconduct did influence his choice to be extra protective of the girls, saying, “Certainly, it was both of those things.”
Knowles explained that he and his then-wife Tina Knowles made sure to never leave the girls unattended while they were recording with Kelly.
“I was there, and my former wife, Tina, was there. 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 … The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes,” he stated.
Knowles comments come on the heels of a mutli-part documentary series titled Surviving R. Kelly that shed light o the many sexual assault allegations the singer has faced throughout his career.
Another former collaborator of Kelly's, singer/actress Lady Gaga, also recently spoke out about her past with him, saying that she did not have an adverse experience but that she know recognizes the poor judgment used when deciding to record a song with Kelly.
“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 processes the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”
Kelly continues to deny the allegations against him, but is now reported to be facing an police investigation regarding a few of them.