Aaliyah’s Mother Claims R. Kelly’s Background Singer Is Lying About Underage Sex Allegations
On Wednesday (Jan. 2), Aaliyah's mother Diane Haughton issued a statement regarding Jovante Cunningham's assertion that she'd seen a 27-year-old R. Kelly have sex with a then 15-year-old Aaliyah more than two decades ago. Cunningham tells that story during an episode of Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, which is set to debut on the network tonight (Jan. 3).
“The woman and so-called back up singer…that describes seeing, meeting or even breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar," Haughton wrote in a statement to E! News. “Shame on all those involved in this project who thought it was kosher to drag Aaliyah’s name into a situation that has nothing to do with her today. Once again, this will not be tolerated.”
During the first episode, Cunningham remembered the moment he allegedly witnessed the then-27-year-old singer, who was born Robert Sylvester Kelly, having sex with Aaliyah on a tour bus while they were all on the road in the 1990s. She was 15 at the time.
“So it just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing,” Cunningham continued. “When the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”
However, Aaliyah's mother denies that Cunningham's story ever happened. In her statement, Haughton says that she and her husband "always" went on tour with the "One in a Million" singer and that they never saw Cunningham during their travels.
Back in 1994, numerous outlets reported that Kelly and Aaliyah had secretly got married. Although a marriage certificate was made public, the documents listed Aaliyah’s age as 18, but she was really 15 at the time. The marriage was annulled less than a year later.
Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly premieres tonight at 8 P.M. EST.
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