Home ENTERTAINMENT R. Kelly was sexually involved with 15-year-old Aliyah, ex-backup singer claims

R. Kelly was sexually involved with 15-year-old Aliyah, ex-backup singer claims


US singer, R. Kelly has been called out again over his relationship with late R&B singer Aaliyah.

A former background singer for Kelly, Jovante Cunningham, made a shocking revelation during an interview in the Lifetime documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly” alleging that the “Trapped in the Closet” crooner, then 27, engaged in a sexual relationship with Aaliyah when she was just 15.

 “Aaliyah [was] very tom-boyish, glasses, braces, no swag,” Cunningham recalls of meeting 12-year-old Aaliyah, who was the niece of Kelly’s then-manager, Barry Hankerson.

“She truly was a beautiful young lady. We used to sneak Aaliyah out of the hotel room and take her all over the place,” says Cunningham. “Those were the good old days, but those are the things that also make you cry.”

During the interview, which will air as part of a six-part docuseries beginning on January 3, according to People, Cunningham opened up about the feeling she had after learning Kelly and Aaliyah were sexually involved.

“We were out on the road with Aaliyah. On a tour bus, there really aren’t many confined spaces. When you get on the bus there are bunks and so these bunks have little curtains you can pull at night if you don’t want anybody to see you sleeping,” she explained.

“So, it just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing,” Cunningham continues. “When the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”

When pressed to describe exactly what she had witnessed, Cunningham doubled down on her claims adding that it was evident Kelly was having sex with Aaliyah.

“Things that an adult should not be doing with a child,” Cunningham lamented. “I can’t stress to you how people are still suffering behind things that went on 20 years ago.”

In 1994 reports surfaced that Kelly and Aaliyah had secretly married, and a marriage certificate was made public listing Aaliyah’s age as 18, although she would have been 15 at the time.


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