Dominque Gardner, whose surprise defection from R. Kelly was one of the key moments in Surviving R. Kelly, agreed to speak on camera for the first time about her time with the singer for Lifetime’s upcoming docuseries Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.
“Before Dominque met R. Kelly, she was this bubbly teenager,” her mother Michelle Kramer says in the clip. “But after R. Kelly, she was dark. She was like a loner; she didn’t want to be bothered with nobody.”
Kramer’s efforts to reestablish contact with her daughter and wrest her away from Kelly’s control, including staking out a Los Angeles hotel, featured in the initial documentary as well as a follow-up interview with Rolling Stone; Gardner soon returned to Kelly, but eventually came back to her family, where she has remained.
In the months after Surviving R. Kelly, Gardner spoke about her ordeal with the New Yorker, but Part II: The Reckoning marks her first television interview, with Gardner sitting down with Lifetime in September 2019.
The first part of the three-night, six-hour Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning will premiere January 2nd, with subsequent parts to follow on January 3rd and 4th.
The follow-up will feature new interviews with journalist Jim DeRogatis, Damon Dash, Mathew Knowles, #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, W. Kamau Bell, State’s Attorney for Cook County Kimberly Foxx, lawyer Michael Avenatti (who represents some of Kelly’s alleged victims) and women like Jerhonda Pace and Kitti Jones, who featured prominently in Surviving R. Kelly.