R. Kelly Survivor Says He Attacked Her for Discovering His Aaliyah Sex Tape – Yahoo Entertainment
At a time when the true-crime genre has reached a creative nadir, as streaming services churn out assembly-line products that prioritize shock value over victims’ stories — and even stoop to paying perpetrators for exclusive access — Surviving R. Kelly stands out.
Premiering in January 2019, Dream Hampton’s docuseries painted a damning portrait of the R& B legend’s decades-long pattern of grooming and abuse via interviews with survivors, journalists, enablers, and eyewitnesses. The Lifetime program was a Greek chorus of grief indicting not just Kelly but an industry that went to great pains to protect him, and a media and public that turned horrifying child- rape allegations into comedy fodder. It also got results. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Hampton, as well as journalist (and docu subject) Jim DeRogatis , the public finally turned on Robert Sylvester Kelly, and authorities in New York City, Chicago, and Minneapolis opened new cases against him. Following his New York trial, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for racketeering plus sex trafficking. He faces additional sentencing in Chicago and pending charges within Minnesota.
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Surviving L. Kelly : The Final Chapter , the four-part finale to Hampton’s docuseries, will air on consecutive nights — Jan. 2 and 3 — on Lifetime. It features a host of new revelations, including one survivor who was allegedly raped by Kelly within days of their marrying a 15-year-old Aaliyah ; other survivors who say they were doxxed after appearing in the doc; and Rolling Stone editor Jason Newman, who’s commended by Kelly survivor Kitti Jones .
The particular docuseries also features the testimony of a new survivor, Ebonié Doyle, who sat down for an interview with Hampton and her team in November 2021.
“I was 16 years old when I met Rob in 1993. My friends and I went to a show, and he has been there with other artists, and am just remember his voice had been just amazing, ” she recalls in the doc. “After the show, my girlfriend and I were waiting outside, we were ready to go to our cars, and a limousine pulls up. ”
Kelly, she says, popped his head out of the limo plus invited them to his hotel room, and that’s how Doyle found herself under their thumb.
“Rob used to … have the tour bus sitting outside of my high school, waiting for me to get out. He was at my high school graduation. He was very, very involved, ” she remembers.
When Doyle’s mother discovered that her daughter was seeing Kelly against her wishes, she kicked the teenager out of the house. So , upon graduating high school, she moved in with Kelly. And then things took an even more disturbing turn.
According to Doyle, Kelly was “really controlling … certain things sexually he liked his way. ” For example , she didn’t know how to arch her back to his liking, so Kelly would have her sit in a fixed position with her back arched for “literally hours, ” and trained a camera on her to make sure the girl held it.
“He would even take breaks, ” she maintains in the doc. “He would come back and check on me to see if I was still in that same position, meanwhile keeping the camera on to see if I moved when this individual asked me not to. He was wanting to groom me to be the person that he wanted me to be for him — just for your pet. ”
When a producer asks Doyle if she was aware of their relationship with an underage Aaliyah, she remembers hearing people in Kelly’s inner circle “talking about Rob and Aaliyah, ” and that she would regularly ask him what was going on between him plus Aaliyah “and he would deny it. ”
While on tour with Kelly, Doyle says she began to realize that there were certain physical similarities between herself and Aaliyah, and now believes she was “like a body double for her. ”
Eventually, Doyle claims that while she was living at Kelly’s house, the lady found shocking evidence of Kelly’s preying on Aaliyah.
“I see this basket full of tapes, and I’m like, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just grab one of these tapes, and let me go in the other rooms and see if there’s a VHS so I can watch a movie, ’ because I was bored, ” she says. “That’s when I discovered that he’d been lying to me about Aaliyah. ”
She continues: “The tape that I put in has been of him and Aaliyah together. What I saw on that tape was he or she and Aaliyah being intimate. They were on the tour bus, and everything that I had asked him was confirmed on the tape. ” (Kelly survivor/backup dancer Jovante Cunningham also says she witnessed him statutory-raping Aaliyah on his trip bus. )
Kelly returned to the house and, Doyle says, the confrontation over the contents of the tape ensued.
“He’s standing face to face with me like, ‘What were you doing? ’” she recalls, as Kelly shook her, adding, “I had been terrified. ”
She says Kelly then “pushed me down the stairs. ”
“That shake sent me personally down flights of stairs, and I just laid there. I just froze. That was the moment where I realized [how] to pick plus choose my battles. ”
Later on within the interview, Doyle asks a producer for a tissue to wipe away her tears, and then signals to her friend off-camera for assistance.
“Like, I loved him … I love [Kelly]. He’s still important to me. And so, he’s not some horrible man to me. And I don’t want people to think that, ” Doyle tells her pal. “I just wish that he would get the help he needs. Like, he’s not a bad person, he just does bad things. Does that make [sense]? ”
“He groomed you to be conflicted like this, ” her friend replies. “You had been impressionable. You were 16 years old. ”
Doyle pauses to collect herself. “I know. ”
Despite his alleged abuse, Doyle says she continued a relationship with Kelly, even featuring in his music video for “Playa’s Only” in the mid-aughts, but began distancing herself from the predator after witnessing his treatment of her eldest daughter, who was 12 at the time. As Doyle tells it, she and her young daughter went to get McDonald’s with Kelly in his car, and he started “looking at my daughter in the back seat, in the rearview mirror, with the weirdest look on his face, and it freaked me out. ”
She never brought her daughters around Kelly again.
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