Whew! Okay. This is too much, I promise.
Let’s start with the infamous sex tape. Lisa (Van Allen) was the one who jumped things off. Robert left the bag he kept the videotapes in a room with her at the studio one day. She began viewing the tapes to see what was on them and came across one with their threesomes with the 14-year-old. On the same tape, she saw him having sex with the girl (who I will now call “Niecy” because I’m tired of saying “the girl”) without her. One of the recordings showed him peeing on Niecy, and Lisa was disgusted. Fearful of the tape getting out, she took it and gave it to another one of R. Kelly’s artists for safekeeping.
She ended up telling him she took it as information about his relationships with young girls and related confidential settlements surfaced. Apparently she didn’t trust the person she’d given it to, because she thought they might leak it. Robert flew her to Chicago, and she took a lie detector test to ease his concerns that there weren’t any copies of the tape. The artist who had the tape had to take a test, too, but he failed. Robert paid him for the original tape, and then dished out more for the copy. Ohhhhh, but that wasn’t the only copy made. Soon, the Chicago Sun Times had the tape.
We know the story. R. Kelly was arrested, posted bail, and it was back to business as usual. He was visiting schools, doing shows, and recording music like nothing had happened. He was living like he’s untouchable. And to this day, let’s be honest. He has been untouchable. Nothing seems to stick. There was even a Florida case in which the police searched his house and found child porn (photos) of him, Lisa, and Niecy “intertwined” as Sparkle put it. Because it was determined the police had no reason to search the area where they found the photos, the case was dropped. Meanwhile, dude was dropping the “Ignition (Remix)” and “Step in the Name of Love” and debuting Chocolate Factory at number one like wasn’t shit happening. And there many of us were, snapping our fingers, rolling our bodies like it was the freakin’ weekend, dippin’ it down, and singing along at the top of our lungs.
In a desperate attempt, Robert’s legal team said Carey, his younger brother who looks nothing like him, was the man in the tape. Well, that pissed Carey off, and he called Wendy Williams to talk about it. During the interview, he spoke of how his son had been jumped by fifteen girls because of the claims. He also said there were other tapes of Robert with underage girls, and he was sure they were underage because he was interviewing them on the videos. Today, he says he didn’t know those things to be true, but that he repeated what he’d been hearing in the streets to hurt his brother.
“It fucked me up.” – Sparkle
Lady Sparkle… Sigh…
While I appreciate her appearance in this documentary, I find it interesting that either she didn’t speak about Robert’s activity with underage girls or her comments/stories about them were left on the editing room floor. It seems she and Jovante (Cunningham) were backup singers for R. Kelly at the same time. They showed a photo of them standing together back in the day, and Jovante spoke of how close she and Sparkle were. That tells me she should have seen much of what Jovante spoke of. So WHYYYYY did she introduce her niece to him? She says she regrets ever doing it, and I believe her. But dayum, Sparkle!! Listen closely, and she says she regrets introducing her family to him. Mind you, her brother-in-law, Greg Landfair, played in R. Kelly’s band.
When she was called to view the tape, she immediately recognized the girl as her niece. Instead of calling her sister, she called her oldest brother to tell him. This was later the same brother who got on the stand in court and said that wasn’t their niece on the tape. Out of all the family (including Niecy and her parents as well), Sparkle was the only one who admitted the underage girl on tape was her niece. She was estranged from her family for ten years, and I now believe it’s more because they were pissed she went forward with the truth. They said she was tarnishing the family’s name. I used to think they were upset because she’d introduced the girl to R. Kelly. Nah…
Ask Jovante, and she’s certain Robert set out to destroy Sparkle’s family. There’s more to that statement. I’d love to hear why he would want to do that, but she didn’t go there. She couldn’t get through many of her answers without crying. She referred to Niecy as her baby, saying she loved her like she was her own.When asked how she found out about the tape, she told the interviewer it didn’t matter. For her, the better question would have been Why was there a tape of him having sex with this child? because she says it should have never happened. Damn right. (I do wonder if the guy Lisa gave the tape to showed Jovante, though. Hmm…)
A whole six years went by before this dude went to trial, and we all know how that ended. Not guilty. Apparently the jury wasn’t pressed by what they’d seen on the tape. One juror in particular stated he didn’t believe any of the girls’ accounts of R. Kelly’s behavior because of the way they were dressed.
Around the time of the trial, Sparkle was offered six figures by R. Kelly’s team to sit down in front of the media with him and say all was well with them. That was a hell nah for her. She wasn’t for sale. As for her family, she can’t say for sure whether they were paid off. She knows they were still hanging around Robert and that her brother-in-law (Niecy’s father) continued playing guitar for him. She gave that knowing blink, and I was like, “Enough said, Sparkle! Enough said.”
In the thick of accusations, allegations, and the discovery of the tape, Andrea was pregnant with their third child. She nearly lost Robert Jr. due to complications. R. Kelly had rushed her off to Florida to keep her away from the madness, but he didn’t tell her what was going on at first. Let’s just keep it real. Poor Andrea was put up all the time. Seems she never knew what was going on EVER. According to her, she never met the girls and never saw him abuse others. She feels it was a strategic move on his end but wishes she’d known before she was trapped in the closet, so to speak. After a near suicide attempt, she had an epiphany that she was suffering from domestic violence and left in the middle of the night with $2500 and her three babies.
But wait. There’s more. Jerhonda Pace started going to his trial at age fourteen and was able to consistently speak briefly to him when he was outside of the courthouse. Lil’ mama was skipping school to attend his trial on the regular. One year after his trial, his friend reached out and invited her to a party. I missed the detail of how he got her number. (I don’t think she said, but I’ll use my imagination.) She was sixteen at the time but told him she was nineteen. He started with his vulnerable act, telling her he was molested by an older man in his neighborhood and a woman as well. You know, he gained her trust and made her feel special. He invited her to his house and had her bring a swimsuit she was later instructed to take off in great detail. He was happy to hear she was a virgin because that meant he could train her. And when she handed him her ID to answer his question of how old she was, he had no problem. He just told her to act twenty-one and stick with her story of being nineteen. She soon learned of his abuse and neglect (not being allowed to eat for three days) and even recruited her friend and fellow superfan, Dominique, to join them at the house. Interestingly enough, they never go to see each other in the house due to Robert’s restrictions and controlling ways.
Be sure to watch Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime to get every detail of this MESS!!! Shout out to her mom, Michelle Cramer, for calling him, introducing herself,
- Lisa was pregnant with his child, but she told him she wanted an abortion. She was afraid of what would happen if she had a little girl, knowing she was pregnant by an ephebophile.
- Demetrius said Robert told him he had a problem with videotaping his sexual encounters and that one day it was going to get him in trouble. Demetrius said they prayed together about it. They should have prayed on the way to a psychologist’s office. Faith without works is dead, boo.
- Bruce, Robert’s incarcerated brother spoke of how happy he was to hear Robert was found not guilty of the child pornography charges. All I could think was, “How did you feel when you were found guilty of whatever your charges are?” Stop it, Bruce,
- Shout out to Dominique’s mom, Michelle Kramer for calling Robert, introducing herself, and telling him to stay the fuck away from her daughter. (It didn’t work, but I appreciate her efforts. Real talk.)