- “Surviving R. Kelly” is a six-part Lifetime documentary series that aired in January.
- In the series, several women detail their accusations against R. Kelly, which include being controlled and even held hostage.
- Kelly has denied all of these accusations.
- This story contains information that may be triggering to survivors of sexual assault.
The Lifetime six-part documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which released the last three episodes last weekend, raised accusations against the singer of the grooming and sexual abuse of underage girls. It featured testimony by his alleged victims and former employees. R. Kelly has denied these claims and is reportedly threatening legal action against Lifetime.
Take a look at some of the most shocking revelations that came out of the series.
Several women who said they lived with R. Kelly said he forced them to ask permission before going to the bathroom
Several women in the docuseries said they were controlled by Kelly, and had to ask permission before they could leave their rooms, eat, or use the bathroom. The docuseries also claimed that R. Kelly had buckets around his studio, where an alleged witness of the scene, A’lceis Clary, said it looked like women living with him would have to use as the bathroom.
Kelly allegedly performed a sexual act with an underage girl in the booth with him in front of her friends
Jovante Cunningham, who became a background singer for Kelly at age 14, said, “The first time I witnessed a sexual act in the studio was during the recording of ‘Slow Dance’ the remix. He had one of my teenage friends in the booth with him, bent over, and we were all right there.”
“I will not say with whom, but none of us were of age,” she added.
Jovante Cunningham said she and others on a tour bus with R. Kelly witnessed him having sex with Aaliyah when she was underage
“We were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing,” Cunningham said. “It was prank time when the door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”
Kelly allegedly married Aaliyah when she was 15, and Kelly’s former tour manager said he helped forge the papers to say she was 18
“I’m not proud of that,” Demetrius Smith, R. Kelly’s former tour manager and personal assistant, said. “Aaliyah looked worried, scared.”
“I wanted so much to grab Aaliyah and talk to her. I wanted so much to talk to her. Because she looked at me, she gave me a look like she wanted me to talk to her. That’s why I feel like, I failed them. Both of them,” he added.
One of Kelly’s victims, Lizzette Martinez, said she got Guillain-Barre, a rare immune disorder, from Kelly and almost died
“I caught mononucleosis from him. My mono turned into Guillain-Barre, where my whole body was completely paralysed, and I almost didn’t make it,” Martinez said. “He sent my mother a $US1,000 check. I was in ICU for two and a half weeks. I almost died, he was nowhere to be found.”
Guillain-Barre is a disorder where your immune system attacks your nerves, according to Mayo Clinic.
Andrea Kelly, Kelly’s ex-wife, said R. Kelly made her suicidal
Throughout the docuseries, Kelly describes the mental and physical abuse she says she underwent during her marriage to R. Kelly, including almost losing her son during pregnancy as a result of the extreme stress she was under.
“I finally realised, ‘It doesn’t get better. It gets worse,'” Kelly said. “I had small children that were already dealing with their father in the news having a court case that deals with pedophilia and children. And I remember going out on the balcony and climbing up on the ledge, like ‘God I can’t take another day, I can’t do this anymore.'”
“Instead I got my laptop and went to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and there’s 17 questions. There was only two things on that list that Robert hadn’t done to me,” she added.
One of Kelly’s backup dancers, Sparkle, said the identity of the underage girl in the sex tape was her 14-year-old niece
In the documentary, Sparkle revealed she introduced her 12-year-old niece to R. Kelly in the hopes that he would help jump-start her career as Kelly had done for her. She began to suspect something, however, when she would show up at the studio and find her niece there alone.
Then, in 2002, an alleged sex tape of R. Kelly and an underage girl went viral, and Sparkle was asked to come see the video. She said it showed her niece.
“You hear things, and for her to be so young, it f—– me up,” she said in the documentary.
R. Kelly allegedly tried to frame his brother, Carey Kelly, of being the one in the sex tape he was on trial for
Bruce Kelly, R. Kelly’s older brother, recounted the event in which R. Kelly tried to bribe their other brother, Carey Kelly, to say he was the man in the video: “[R. Kelly] said, ‘If you do this deposition with my attorneys, I will give you $US100,000 and a one record contract deal.'”
Carey Kelly turned down the alleged deal.
Kelly allegedly remained close with the girl in the infamous sex tape until 2011
Kitti Jones, who dated Kelly from 2011 to 2013, said in the documentary, “A friend of mine had said, ‘Have you ever watched the sex tape?’ And I was furious with her and felt disrespected because at this point, this is my boyfriend,” she said. “But my curiosity kind of got the best of me, and I Googled it.”
“When I saw the images, the images were the same girl that he had introduced me to a couple weeks before. I knew immediately it was the same woman. I didn’t know how to feel. I guess I felt like I was tricked into something,” she said.
The documentary claims two women are still wrapped up in Kelly’s alleged “sex cult,” and haven’t had contact with their families in years
The parents of Jocelyn Savage, one of Kelly’s alleged victims, are featured in the documentary, saying that they haven’t spoken to her since 2016. Savage apparently met Kelly in Atlanta in 2015, when she was 19 years old. After her parents spoke out about the relationship between Savage and Kelly, Savage released a video to TMZ saying she was safe.
“When the Savages first came out, talking about Jocelyn, R. Kelly had meetings to strategize to fix the situation,” an anonymous former employee of Kelly’s said in the documentary. The former employee’s voice and face were obscured. “The first thing was to put Jocelyn in front of the camera on TMZ, which is something he ordinarily would not have done.”
“As far as the video Jocelyn Savage made, I would say that it was scripted, because Robert does not allow those girls to say anything that he has not told them to say,” the source added.
Likewise, Azriel Clary is another one of Kelly’s alleged victims whose parents say they haven’t heard from her since 2016. Both the Savages and the Clarys requested that wellness checks be done at R. Kelly’s properties in Chicago and Atlanta, but Kelly was evidently told about the checks before they occurred.
“I was told about the wellness checks being done at the house in Atlanta as well as the studio in Chicago,” the anonymous former employee of Kelly said. “R. Kelly knew about the wellness check in Chicago before it happened because he has friends in the police department in Chicago who warned him.”
Kelly allegedly dressed up one of his alleged victims, Dominique Gardner, as a boy
That same anonymous employee of Kelly’s said, “To Robert, Dominique is the rebellious one, she stays in trouble. She’s a little tomboyish, and Robert plays on that, so he has moulded her into the boy he wants her to be.”
“So he’s had her shave all her hair off, he has her carry herself like a boy. He’s even had her dress in boy clothes and paint a beard and a mustache on to look like a boy. He treats her like his boy toy,” the source said.
Gardner was convinced to leave R. Kelly by her mother during the filming of the documentary
Gardner met Kelly when she was 17 and was still living with Kelly when filming for the docuseries began. By the end of the making of the series, her mother was able to get in touch with her at a hotel and convince her to leave. The documentary shows Gardner on camera, shaken and emotional.
Gardner reportedly returned to Kelly three days after she left, and then later left him permanently and is with her family, according to the documentary.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can visit RAINN or call its hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to receive confidential support from a trained staff member.
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