R. Kelly Silenced Aaliyah & Her Family With NDAs, Lifetime Doc Claims
R Kelly is behind bars but a critical piece of media that ensured his initial arrest was Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly series. The documentary dove into the decades-old allegations of sexual abuse against the singer, and eventually, led authorities to arrest him and pressing charges.
Most recently, Lifetime unveiled the third installment in the Surviving R. Kelly series. Dubbed The Final Chapter, the latest season explores his illegal marriage to singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old.
Aaliyah was listed as Jane Doe #1 in Kelly’s 2002 federal trial, and the NDA that she and her family signed was introduced as evidence. However, the doc further details the NDA from those closest to Kelly, including the singer’s bodyguard, Gem Pratt.
Members of Aaliyah’s family didn’t comment on the series. However, Pratt detailed her father’s outrage over the marriage. After demanding an annulment, Kelly allegedly arranged an agreement that prevented Aaliyah’s family from pressing charges. In exchange, Kelly sold the rights to his first three albums to her family.
“Her dad didn’t want her anywhere near him,” Pratt said of Aaliyah’s father.
Pratt admitted that there were plenty of enablers in Kelly’s corner before his arrest. Meanwhile, prosecutors and legal experts explained that these were critical for the singer’s “criminal enterprise.”
“He couldn’t do this by himself. It’s impossible…It’s clear as day there were enablers,” said Pratt. “This was not a one-man operation. Most people in that camp knew that a lot of these girls were underage. They had to.”
The executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly, Jesse Daniels, explained that they tried to approach the topic as delicately as possible to ensure they respected her legacy.
“We have had a lot of conversations about how to tell Aaliyah’s story every time because we really want to be respectful of her legacy. But what she went through, we can’t turn our backs on,” said Daniels.
We will keep you posted on more developments from Surviving R. Kelly: The Final Chapter.