Surviving R Kelly Is a Pretty Disturbing Watch — Morning Brief

Michael Prieve 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
R Kelly 2013 BET Experience - R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons
R Kelly performs onstage during R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons at the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Talk about a disturbing documentary. The documentary series Surviving R. Kelly premiered Thursday night, with details shining a disturbing new light on his alleged physical abuse, sexual relations with teenage girls and infamous marriage to Aaliyah.

Kelly’s former backup singer Jovante Cunningham discussed meeting Aaliyah when she was just 12. “We taught her her street thing, we gave her her vibe,” Cunningham said. “She went from wearing fitted clothes to the baggy jeans with the half shirts, with the baseball caps. We taught her how to be an artist in the sense of having a stage presence. We would sneak Aaliyah out of the hotel.”

Cunningham went on to reveal that one night when they were on the road with Aaliyah, then 15, “the door flew open on the bus — Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.” Through tears, she said, “I feel protective of Aaliyah right now, which is why I can’t get my mouth to say … he destroyed a lot of people.”

However, Aliyah's mother is disputing those claims.

That was only night one of the three-night series. Night two focused on Kelly's sex tape scandal, his 2002 indictment on child pornography and his trial, which culminated with his acquittal in 2008.


There were a number of people upset by Ellen DeGeneresKevin Hart “forgiveness” interview. CNN anchor Don Lemon has joined the fray.

Lemon addressed the spectacle of Hart's Thursday appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, which has widely been criticized in the press and on social media for Hart's perceived victimhood over backlash to previous homophobic tweets and DeGeneres' emphatic support of his return to the Oscar job, which many found tone deaf.

“Someone like Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the entire world, he can be a leader … he can help change homophobia in the black community, something Kevin's old twitter jokes addressed but in the wrong way,” Lemon said.

He went on to say, “For many in the gay community, especially in the black community, the Twitter apologies on Ellen have fallen flat,” Lemon continued, noting reactions calling the talk show moment “insincere” and that Hart “somehow turns himself into a victim instead of acknowledging the real victims of violent and sometimes deadly homophobia.”


Britney Spears is going on an indefinite work hiatus to help care for her father, Jamie, as he recovers from a life-threatening illness. The hiatus means she will be taking a break from her Las Vegas show.


Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley really seem like nice people.


Say hello to Beyoncé‘s $15,000 wedding vow renewal dress designed by Galia Lahav.


The Morning Brief features some of the top celebrity and pop culture news stories making news this a.m.


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