Over the weekend, Surviving R. Kelly, a series documenting the singer’s alleged systemic sexual manipulation and abuse of black women broke the internet. In the series, eight women, including his ex-wife recounted the painful abuse they or their loved ones suffered while dealing with the singer.
As a result, the series started important conversations about sexual grooming, abuse and the predators in our communities. More importantly, most people were confused as to why R. Kelly has managed to walk free in spite of the heavy allegations against him. More importantly, viewers wanted to know more about the brave women who came on the record to recount the sexual abuse they suffered in the singer’s hands. dream hampton, the executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly hopes that the series would finally nail the singer who has gotten away with these allegations dating back to the 90s.
In spite of the thought-provoking conversations, it is important to acknowledge these women for their bravery in speaking out against their abuser. Here are some of the women who accused R. Kelly of sexual abuse.
1. Lizette Martinez (41)
She allegedly met him when she was a high school senior in 1995 (he was 28 and she was 17 at the time). After meeting him at the mall, they started a ‘relationship’ because she thought he was interested in helping with her career as he did with his ex, the late Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time of their relationship. Unfortunately, this ‘relationship’ turned abusive as he would hit her if she looked his male friends in the eye. She also suffered a miscarriage at 19 and almost lost her life from an STD she contracted from him.
2. Lisa Van Allen (38)
Like Lizette, Lisa met him at 17. She also suffered physical abuse and was coerced into having a threesome with a girl who she later found out was 14. When she challenged him for liking underage girls, he said: “If you love someone, you don’t try to change them”. She also testified against him in his publicised child pornography case and has once again come out to speak against his actions in this documentary.
3. Andrea’ ‘Drea’ Kelly (44)
Andrea met him when she was 19 years old back in 1994 and started out as one of his dancers before getting married to him three years later. While she noticed how strictly he managed his team before their marriage, it was his vulnerability with his reading problems that drew her to him. Unfortunately, the abuse – emotional, sexual and physical, started after their marriage. According to her, she had to seek his permission to do basic things, including eating and using the toilet.
4. Jerhonda Pace (25)
Jerhonda’s story is unsettling considering the fact that she first met him during the infamous child pornography case in 2008. According to her account, she was barely 15 on their first encounter. When she was 16, they met again when he invited her to a party and instructed her to tell the guests that she was 19. Not only did did he make her dress in schoolgirl outfits, she was also required to perform sexual acts on other people while he filmed. Things even took a more dangerous turn when he allegedly slapped and choked her until she passed out. After leaving him because of his dehumanising acts, she claimed to have signed a settement deal for $1.5 million dollars (which he has not fully paid) when her parents pressed charges.
5. Sparkle (43)
R. Kelly’s ex-protege and backup singer, Sparkle testified against him in his 2008 child pornography case partly because the girl in the video is her niece, who Buzzfeed reported still lives with him. Sparkle had introduced her 14-year-old niece to the singer in the hopes that he would mentor and build her career. Unfortunately, he took advantage and reportedly made her perform sexual acts on him and other women. Buzzfeed also reports that she is still living with him 11 years after the case.
6. Kitti Jones (42)
Kitti believes people tend to dismiss her story because she was 33 at the time she met him in 2011. While working as an OAP in Chicago, their ‘friendship’ caused her distress at work when listeners harassed her over his sex tapes. Initially, he ‘offered his support’ by convincing her to quit her job and move in with him. However, he began abusing her when she tried to address the sex tapes. She also recounted meeting a young woman who he claimed to have trained like ‘his dog’ for 10 years.
7. Asante Mcgee (40)
What started as a one-night stand for Asante quickly turned into a nightmare after she met him in 2013. Although he was initially upfront about having other women in his life, she did not expect the shocking abuse and violence that followed. Following her escape from his mansion three years after living with his ‘rules’ and outrageous sexual emands, Asante has tried to help some parents get in touch with their daughters, who he prevents from maintaining contact with their family and loved ones.
8. Michelle Kramer (48)
Michelle’s daughter, Dominique met R. Kelly in 2009 at age 18 and lived/worked for him for 9 years. Their relationship which first started out professionally when she worked as his assistant, gradually progressed to romantic after a while. As usual, he made sure that Dominique cut ties with her family. When Michelle first received her daughter’s call about going off her phone line, she initially hought her daughter was just acting ‘grown’. However, she knew something was amiss after Dominique stopped showing up for holidays and eventually stopped calling home. After meeting some other parents whose daughters are still being held by the singer in 2017, Michelle worked with Lifetime and finally rescued her daughter.