R. Kelly. Picture: Instagram

New York — Singer R. Kelly says the media is attempting to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women.

The R&B artist says in a statement Friday that he's "heartbroken" by the accusations.

Calling himself "a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father," Kelly says the media "has dissected and manipulated these false allegations."

Read: #MuteRKelly: Time's Up takes aim at R. Kelly over sex misconduct claims

Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, but speculation about his alleged sexual misconduct has continued.

On Monday, the #MuteRKelly campaign was launched by the Women of Color committee within Time's Up, an organisation devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse. The statement issued urged further investigation into Kelly's behaviour, which has come under closer scrutiny over the last year as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse.

Kelly has denied such charges and is currently not the subject of any criminal investigations.

Kelly says the accusations "perpetuated by the media" are an "attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build."

AP