Lifetime will air the primary episode of the Surviving R. Kelly docu-series on Thursday (January 3). According to People, former backup singer Jovante Cunningham opens up about what it was like touring with the R&B star and recollects a specific incident involving a then-15-year-old Aaliyah.
Cunningham alleges she walked in on Kelly having intercourse with the underaged artist.
“We were out on the road with Aaliyah,” she says within the clip. “On a tour bus, there actually aren’t many confined areas. When you get on the bus there are bunks and so these bunks have little curtains you may pull at evening for those who don’t need anyone to see you sleeping.
“So it just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing. When the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”
When pressed for particulars, Cunningham says she noticed “things that an adult should not be doing with a child.”
Kelly is commonly credited for jumpstarting the late singer’s profession, however their relationship is shrouded in controversy. Kelly and Aaliyah had been rumored to have gotten married when she was simply 15 years outdated. They allegedly had paperwork drawn as much as falsely present Aaliyah was 18.
Kelly’s former private assistant Demetrius Smith claims he was on the wedding ceremony and admits he helped get hold of these paperwork. He additionally believes she was pregnant on the time.
“Robert came to me, we were in Miami,” Smith says. “Robert stated, ‘Man we got Aaliyah in trouble’. Robert talked about to me that ‘I think she’s pregnant’. That broke my coronary heart proper there as a result of I actually believed him when he stated that he wasn’t messing with Aaliyah … Once he advised me that I used to be confused.
“I was in the room when they got married. I’m not proud of that. I had papers forged for them when Aaliyah was underaged. It was just a quick little ceremony, she didn’t have on a white dress he didn’t have on a tux. Just every day wear. She looked worried and scared.”
Ultimately, the wedding was annulled. Although Aayliah’s profession continued to soar, it was tragically minimize brief in 2001 when she was killed in a aircraft crash at simply 22.
Over the previous 12 months, Kelly has been accused of operating a intercourse cult and having a number of inappropriate sexual relationships. Surviving R. Kelly will dive into the allegations and have a number of of his alleged victims.