Why Aaliyah Fans Are Furious With Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Docuseries

Lifetime’s highly anticipated six-part documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly will examine Robert Kelly’s legacy and career from the perspective of his predatory behavior, abuse allegations, and other controversies. An unprecedented window into the disgraced R&B singer’s life, the series will have commentary and interviews from those nearest to Kelly at the height of his career.

Surviving R. Kelly will hear from the “Step in the Name of Love” singer’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, brothers Carey, and Bruce Kelly and even industry giants like John Legend and Wendy Williams. With continued rumors surrounding Kelly’s alleged abuses towards women and young girls –many women’s rights advocates are relieved that many of these women are finally being heard. However, the series is not without controversy. This is why fans and the family of the late R&B singer Aaliyah are furious with the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries.

Aaliyah and R.Kelly’s unsettling relationship

In 1994 at the age of 15, Aaliyah burst onto the scene with her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. The album was produced and written by R. Kelly who was 27 at the time. Somewhere along the line, it was rumored that their relationship took a turn. According to several sources, Kelly secretly married 15-year-old Aaliyah, using a falsified marriage certificate indicating that she was 18.

The songstress’ parents found out about the marriage and allegedly had it annulled later that year. Kelly and Aaliyah reportedly agreed to never discuss the details of their relationship. Aaliyah died in 2001 in a plane crash at the age of 22, and she never spoke publically of her relationship with her former mentor. In 2016, The Chocolate Factory singer told GQ that he would not discuss the late singer at all, “out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father.”

The allegation

Since Surviving R. Kelly examines the songwriter’s alleged abuses toward women, his relationship with Aaliyah is now being examined more closely. Now, R. Kelly’s former backup singer Jovante Cunningham has come forward saying she witnessed, Kelly and the late singer engaging in “things that an adult should not be doing with a child.” She said, “We were out on the road with Aaliyah … on a tour bus there really aren’t any confined spaces … there are bunks. When the door flew open on the bus, Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”

Aaliyah’s family’s response

Needless to say, this allegation is explosive and has drummed up a ton of pain and hurt –from Aaliyah’s family in particular. The late singer’s mother, Diane Haughton posted a statement on the Aaliyah for Mac Twitter account refuting the allegations. She said, ” The woman and so-called backup singer in the forthcoming “Surviving…” documentary that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar. My husband and I were always on tour with her and at interviews wand every place she went throughout her entire career. Whoever this woman is, I have never seen her before anywhere on planet earth, until now. These lies and fabrications cannot be tolerated and allowed to be spewed from the forked tongues of saboteurs of Aaliyah’s legacy.”

Like Mrs. Haughton, many fans are distressed that Aaliyah, who can not speak for herself, is being pulled into the #MuteRKelly movement.

Surviving R. Kelly is just one of many upcoming projects that will examine the singer and the allegations against him.

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