The Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” concluded on Saturday, Jan. 5, and several stunning revelations about the disgraced singer came to light. Over a year after the bombshell story emerged in BuzzFeed detailing R. Kelly’s alleged sex abuse cult, several women who have accused him of harming them have shared their stories. Additionally, ex-employees of the star have also come forward with their tales. Below are five of the most alarming revelations from the series about the man born Robert Sylvester Kelly.
Aaliyah Allegedly Became Pregnant by R. Kelly and Had to Get an Abortion
One of the first high-profile incidents of the R&B crooner getting involved with an underaged woman was Kelly’s relationship with singer Aaliyah. The two wed in 1994 when the “One In a Million” singer was just 15 and Kelly was 27, yet the marriage license listed her age as 18. The union was annulled after two months in 1995. At one point, either before or after the marriage, the singer told his former assistant Demetrius Smith that he thinks Aaliyah is pregnant.
The young singer was taken to get an abortion. Despite the allegations in the documentary, the late star’s mother, Diane Haughton, denied claims by an R. Kelly backup singer who said she once walked in on the star and his protégée having sex.
“The woman and so-called back up singer that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar,” Haughton said of Jovante Cunningham.
R. Kelly Supposedly Continued to Stay Involved with the Girl Involved In the Infamous Sex Tape
Sparkle’s niece, the 14-year-old girl Kelly was seen having sex with and urinating on in the tape that led to a 2008 child porn case, is said to have remained in the star’s circle. Kitti Jones, a radio DJ who quit her job at age 33 to begin a relationship with Kelly, explained she had never seen the sex tape and was offended when someone asked about it. But she said her “curiosity kind of got the best of me” and she viewed the disturbing footage.
“When I saw the images, the images were the same girl that he had introduced me to a couple weeks before, she said of the 2011 meeting. “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.”
Kelly was found not guilty of 14 counts of child porn in the trial.
With Daughters Hoping for Chance at Fame, Parents Put Their Daughters on with R. Kelly Despite Accusations
Two sets of parents whose daughters are said to be held hostage in Kelly’s Chicago home each met the singer with their girls at concerts years ago.
Timothy and JonJelyn Savage are the parents of Joycelyn Savage, a woman who is said to be holed up in the “sex cult” written about in the 2017 BuzzFeed article. Savage was 19 when her parents allowed their daughter to work with him in hopes of her realizing her dream of becoming a singer in 2015. They thought that with her parents there with her, she’d be fine. They even later had a guardian to watch their daughter while she traveled with Kelly.
But the Savages later stopped being able to get in touch with their daughter, who by 2016 had dropped out of college. Her parents began speaking out and claimed she was the victim of Stockholm Syndrome at a 2017 press conference. After the BuzzFeed article ran, Savage went on TMZ to confirm she was safe and not being held against her will.
Another set of parents, Alice and Angelo Clary, also had a daughter who got involved with R. Kelly. Azriel Clary was 17 when she persuaded her parents to allow her to get advised by the vocalist under the supervision of her sister, A’Iceis. Things took a turn when the family was unable to contact Azriel and A’Iceis showed up to the Chicago studio where her sister lived and accused Kelly of keeping her hostage. A’Iceis called the police, but they were unable to verify that her sister was being held against her will. Afterward, A’Iceis was driven to an unknown location and told that if she ever spoke out, she and her family would be put in danger.
The Savages and the Clarys later teamed together to try to locate their daughters.
R. Kelly’s Abuse Allegations Are Worse Than Previously Thought
Details of the abuse allegations levied against R. Kelly have been brought to light over the past year or two, but those depicted in “Surviving R. Kelly” show the conditions were worse than survivors have let on.
One of the conditions of living with Kelly at his home was that the women had to ask for permission to eat and go to the bathroom. While at the Chicago studio attempting to look for her sister, A’Iceis said she saw buckets in the corner of all the rooms, where the women appeared to relieve themselves. A’Iceis later told her parents these details.
Another woman, Asante McGee, met Kelly in 2014 when she was in her mid-30s. After dating him for two years, she was told she’d be moving in with him to his Atlanta-area home, the second location at which he was said to have housed women. Although the the singer was later evicted after he racked up $30,000 in unpaid rent for two local properties, McGee lived there for several months before that happened.
Like other women who lived with the singer, she had to get permission to eat or leave her room. To do so, she had to stomp to get Kelly’s attention. Sometimes, she said, she’d be stomping on the floor for hours.
R. Kelly Allegedly Used One of the Women as His ‘Boy Toy’
As Savage made appearances to speak out about her living situation with TMZ, one of the women accompanying her is Dominique Gardner, but she didn’t look as feminine as she once did.
An anonymous former employee who worked with Kelly until recently disclosed why that was the case during the final night of the series.
“To Robert, Dominique is the rebellious one, she stays in trouble. She’s a little tomboyish, and Robert plays on that, so he has molded her into the boy he wants her to be,” the ex-worker, who was heavily disguised, said. “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.”
Kelly has consistently denied all accusations of sexual abuse levied against him.