“Pretty early on he kind of introduced you to everything he was into. I was instructed to call him ‘Daddy’ during sex, but it went from that to pretty much all the time he’d be ‘Daddy,'” said Lisa Van Allen, who in 2008 became one of the first women to speak out against Kelly’s abuse.
Van Allen first had concerns about her relationship with Kelly when the singer restricted her access to family members, acting as a go-between for phone calls between Van Allen and her mother. Kelly’s authority then extended to the bedroom.
“The first time Robert [Kelly] had me do sexual acts with him and another female, he actually told me it was going to be his first time and he wanted to do it with me,” Van Allen said in Surviving R. Kelly. “He would say things like ‘If you love me, you won’t try to change me. If you love me, you’d accept me how I am. If you love me, you’ll do these things for me.’ Those would be his little pep talks he’d give me.”
She added, “Robert would film our sex acts sometimes. He would never ask me if it was OK to be filmed, but he never hid the camera or anything like that.” Van Allen’s accusations mirror what Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones (who also appears in the series) told Rolling Stone in a 2017 feature.
The six-hour, three-part Surviving R. Kelly premieres January 3rd on Lifetime and continues January 4th and 5th. In a previous clip from the docuseries, multiple victims recounted the abuse they allegedly endured while involved with Kelly.
On December 4th, a planned screening of an excerpt from the docuseries at a New York theater was canceled after a gun threat was called in; Kelly’s ex-wife Drea Kelly told Rolling Stone she believes the R&B singer was somehow involved in the threat. Jones told Rolling Stone after the screening was evacuated, “This just speaks to how much power there is in numbers that someone felt the need to threaten this event. But we won’t be intimidated or silenced and we hope this brings even more attention to the legitimacy of our stories and how important this documentary is to the movement.”
The six-hour Surviving R. Kelly will include over 50 interviews, including appearances from John Legend, R&B artist Sparkle, talk show host Wendy Williams and civil rights activist Tarana Burke. The project will air in three installments: Thursday, January 3rd at 9 p.m. ET/PT; Friday, January 4th at 9 p.m. ET/PT; and Saturday, January 5th at 9 p.m. ET/PT.