UPDATE: 12:00 p.m. EDT — Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, released a rare statement on her daughter’s relationship with R. Kelly and the accusation that a former background singer saw him having sex with her when she was 15, which was revealed in the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.”
According to E! Online, Diane Haughton said in a statement, “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. My husband and I were always on tour with her and at interviews and every place she went throughout her entire career. Whoever this woman is, I have never seen her before anywhere on planet earth, until now.”
She calls the claims “lies and fabrications” that “can not be tolerated and allowed to be spewed from the forked tongues of saboteurs of Aaliyah’s legacy.” Aaliyah’s mother also added, “My daughter only wanted to realize her dream of sharing her talent with the world, and give her all performing on stage and in front of the camera for the fans she adored so much. She realized that dream, thanks to those true fans who still love and support her legacy unconditionally to this day. Shame on all those involved in this project who thought it kosher to drag Aaliyah’s name into a situation that has nothing to do with her today. Once again, this will not be tolerated.”
The statement is raising some eyebrows because there was actual proof that Kelly married Aaliyah.
On August 31, 1994, R. Kelly, 27, illegally married Aaliyah, who was only 15 years old, in Chicago. Just a few months before, on May 24, 1994, Aaliyah’s debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” was released, which Kelly wrote and produced. On the wedding certificate, her age was listed as 18, but the marriage was annulled in February of 1995. Later that year, VIBE famously published the wedding certificate, even though both Aaliyah and R. Kelly denied the marriage.
“Surviving R. Kelly” premieres tonight on Lifetime, with subsequent installments airing on Jan. 4 and 5. The docuseries dives deep into over two decades of the singer allegedly sexually assaulting children and women. Now Kelly is doing everything he can to block the series from premiering tonight.
TMZ reports, “Kelly’s lawyer, Brian Nix, fired off a legal letter — obtained by TMZ — warning the network that its ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary is packed with lies. Nix threatens to file a federal lawsuit Thursday — the same day Lifetime’s set to air the special — if the network doesn’t relent.”
TMZ also claims Kelly is “saying the subjects made false allegations to become famous. What’s more … Kelly says he has 2 audio recordings — 5 minutes in duration — that show Lifetime knew ‘some of the girls are lying, but that the budget was too high to turn back now.'”
In one of the disturbing accounts from the docuseries, a former background singer said she caught the singer having sex with a 15-year-old Aaliyah. Jovante Cunningham revealed, “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. 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.”
It is highly unlikely R. Kelly will be able to stop the docuseries from airing tonight. Just last month, there was a gun threat at a New York City screening. Lifetime said, “This was an intimidation tactic from R. Kelly to further silence these women.”
Time might seriously be up for R. Kelly.