“Surviving R. Kelly” Episode 1: Aaliyah’s Marriage Forgery, & Dangerous Persuasion
The first installment of “Surviving R. Kelly” hit the airwaves last night, despite a cease and desist letter looming overhead. The reaction on social media is quite telling. Viewers were shocked to their senses, at the gripping details elucidates by members of R. Kelly inner circle, past and present. Kelly’s former backup singer Jovante Cunningham said that Aaliyah was but 12 years old when R. Kelly earmarked her from a distance.
But that wasn’t the worst of it; R.Kelly’s former tour manager spoke of Aaliyah’s pregnancy scares when in the “custody” of his client. He spoke about the forged paperwork Kelly submitted in order to force an unlawful marriage with the underage singer.
“Aaliyah looked worried. Scared. Worried and scared. I wanted so much to grab Aaliyah and talk to her. I wanted so much to talk to her. ‘Cause she looked at me, she gave me a look like she wanted me to talk to her,” Demetrius Smith (ex-tour manager) shared with Lifetime. “That’s why I feel like I failed them. Both of them. I knew that it had changed the course of everything.”
Jovante and Demetrius are among the 50 “insiders” interviewed for the project; only two of the 50 “insiders” that consented to speak with Lifetime are actually musicians, the rest are managers, publicity, and individuals that work(ed) in the recording biz. John Legend for one is being heralded “a hero” by executive producer Dream Hampton, for signing on when others wouldn’t dare.