R Kelly’s back-up singer ‘saw him having sex with 15-year-old Aaliyah on tour bus’

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R Kelly’s back-up singer saw him having sex with 15-year-old Aaliyah, a new documentary has claimed.

In Lifetime’s upcoming Surviving R. Kelly, which airs Thursday, Jovante Cunningham claims to have witnessed the then 27-year-old commit statutory rape on the teen.

Looking back on being on the road with Aaliyah, she said, as reported by People. ‘On a tour bus, there really aren’t many confined spaces. When you get on the bus there are bunks and so these bunks have little curtains you can pull at night if you don’t want anybody to see you sleeping.’

Witness: R Kelly's back-up singer saw him having sex with 15-year-old Aaliyah, a new documentary has claimed

Witness: R Kelly's back-up singer saw him having sex with 15-year-old Aaliyah, a new documentary has claimed

Witness: R Kelly’s back-up singer saw him having sex with 15-year-old Aaliyah, a new documentary has claimed

Jovante continued: ‘So it just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing, when the [room] door flew open on the bus.,’ she recalled. ‘Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.’

When asked what she saw, Cunningham replied: ‘Things that an adult should not be doing with a child.

‘I can’t stress to you how people are still suffering behind things that went on 20 years ago.’

That same year, 1994, it was widely reported Kelly and Aaliyah had secretly married, though they both denied it.

Victim: In Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly, which airs Thursday, Jovante Cunningham claims to have witnessed the then 27-year-old commit statutory rape on the teen (Aaliyah pictured in 1994)

Victim: In Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly, which airs Thursday, Jovante Cunningham claims to have witnessed the then 27-year-old commit statutory rape on the teen (Aaliyah pictured in 1994)

Victim: In Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, which airs Thursday, Jovante Cunningham claims to have witnessed the then 27-year-old commit statutory rape on the teen (Aaliyah pictured in 1994)

A subsequently unearthed marriage certificate listed his 15-year-old protegee’s age as 18; her parents had it annulled the following year.

Aaliyah met Kelly though Barry Hankerson, her uncle and his manager.  

‘Aaliyah [was] very tom-boyish, glasses, braces, no swag,’ Cunningham said of meeting the the then-12-year-old.  

‘She truly was a beautiful young lady. We used to sneak Aaliyah out of the hotel room and take her all over the place. Those were the good old days,’ she said, adding: ‘but those are the things that also make you cry.’

Kelly went on to become her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her double platinum debut album, the uncomfortably titled Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.

Parting ways: Aaliyah cut ties with Kelly after the accusations of illegal marriage; she died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly after filming a music video in the Bahamas, aged just 22

Parting ways: Aaliyah cut ties with Kelly after the accusations of illegal marriage; she died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly after filming a music video in the Bahamas, aged just 22

Parting ways: Aaliyah cut ties with Kelly after the accusations of illegal marriage; she died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly after filming a music video in the Bahamas, aged just 22

Parting ways: Aaliyah cut ties with Kelly after the accusations of illegal marriage; she died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly after filming a music video in the Bahamas, aged just 22

Parting ways: Aaliyah cut ties with Kelly after the accusations of illegal marriage; she died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly after filming a music video in the Bahamas, aged just 22

Aaliyah cut ties with Kelly after the accusations of illegal marriage; she died in a plane crash in 2002 shortly after filming a music video in the Bahamas, aged just 22.

The eye-opening six-part docu-series interviews dozens of former friends, family members and colleagues, who all make grim claims about the singer abusing women and young girls. 

Last year several women came forward claiming Kelly had been running a sex cult, and in May a woman filed a lawsuit against him claiming that he had treated her like a sex slave. 

The woman, who is a former teenage girlfriend of R. Kelly – and is suing him for allegedly giving her herpes – claimed he also videotaped himself having non-consensual sex with her.

Faith Rodgers was 19 years old when she started dating R. Kelly, whom she met at a party after his concert in San Antonio, Texas. She claims that the relationship quickly became abusive.

Trouble: Several woman have came forward claiming Kelly had been running a sex cult, and in May last year a woman filed a lawsuit against him claiming that he had treated her like a sex slave

Trouble: Several woman have came forward claiming Kelly had been running a sex cult, and in May last year a woman filed a lawsuit against him claiming that he had treated her like a sex slave

Trouble: Several woman have came forward claiming Kelly had been running a sex cult, and in May last year a woman filed a lawsuit against him claiming that he had treated her like a sex slave

Reports: Faith Rodgers was 19 when she started dating R. Kelly, whom she met at a party after his concert in San Antonio, Texas. She claims that the relationship quickly became abusive

Reports: Faith Rodgers was 19 when she started dating R. Kelly, whom she met at a party after his concert in San Antonio, Texas. She claims that the relationship quickly became abusive

Reports: Faith Rodgers was 19 when she started dating R. Kelly, whom she met at a party after his concert in San Antonio, Texas. She claims that the relationship quickly became abusive

'I suffer from PTSD': The singer also faced damning allegations from his former wife, Andrea, during an interview on talk show, The View

'I suffer from PTSD': The singer also faced damning allegations from his former wife, Andrea, during an interview on talk show, The View

‘I suffer from PTSD’: The singer also faced damning allegations from his former wife, Andrea, during an interview on talk show, The View

She spoke to CBS News about her relationship with R. Kelly, saying she filed the lawsuit against him in New York for ‘willfully, deliberately and maliciously’ infecting her with herpes to warn other teenage girls who may come into contact with him. 

The singer, however, recently said he has been left ‘heartbroken’ by the allegations, and has criticised the media for trying to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women.

He was acquitted of child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, The Guardian reported – but speculation about his alleged sexual misconduct has continued.

The singer also faced damning allegations from his former wife, Andrea, during an interview on talk show, The View.

Responding: The singer recently said he has been left 'heartbroken' by the allegations, and has criticised the media for trying to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women

Responding: The singer recently said he has been left 'heartbroken' by the allegations, and has criticised the media for trying to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women

Responding: The singer recently said he has been left ‘heartbroken’ by the allegations, and has criticised the media for trying to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women

The couple were married for 13 years, with Andrea saying she suffers from a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an alleged assault from her ex-husband.

‘I remember one time he attacked me in the back of a Hummer, and I do suffer from PTSD because of it,’ Andrea recalled.

‘I thought I was going to die in the back of the Hummer because of what he had done.’

 A private preview screening of the Lifetime documentary held in New York earlier this month had to be evacuated following a number of bomb threats.

Timing: A private preview screening of the documentary held in New York earlier this month had to be evacuated following a number of bomb threats 

Timing: A private preview screening of the documentary held in New York earlier this month had to be evacuated following a number of bomb threats 

Timing: A private preview screening of the documentary held in New York earlier this month had to be evacuated following a number of bomb threats 

 



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