The song, "Do What U Want (With My Body)" was removed from sites like iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music less than 24 hours after Gaga tweeted an apology that explained why she collaborated with Kelly, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women; the allegations have especially come to light in the recent documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.
The official videos for the 2013 song have been removed from YouTube as well — all except a version of the song in which Gaga dressed as Marilyn Monroe and Kelly dressed as John F. Kennedy during the American Music Awards. That clip is property of ABC and not Interscope Records, Gaga's label.
Variety reports that from the time Gaga tweeted about the song to when it was removed from iTunes, "Do What U Want" entered the Top 20 chart.
Wednesday night, the 32-year-old songstress took to Twitter to throw her support behind the women accusing Kelly of assault and misconduct.
“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,” Gaga wrote. “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 songs 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 is clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time," she continued. "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 — 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."
She explained that she "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. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career."
She explained further that her statement was not meant to "make excuses for myself, but to explain" and that she "intend[ed] to remove this song off iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again."
"I'm sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner," she concluded her statement.
Lifetime, the network that distributed Surviving R. Kelly, said that the documentary was watched by an average of 2.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings. The six-part documentary series featured interviews with dozens of women who accused the performer of sexual assault and misconduct. He has vehemently denied all allegations from the documentary as well as others made in recent years.