R. Kelly is the subject of a new Lifetime documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, which will air tonight on Lifetime. Many people will speak out against R. Kelly in the new documentary, which chronicles years of alleged abuse. John Legend is one of those people, along with R. Kelly’s two brothers.
The R&B singer’s ex-wife, Andrea Lee, is also a major subject of the documentary. Lee, who goes by Drea, shared her first story of alleged abuse by Kelly last summer.
Drea was married to R. Kelly from 1996 to 2009. She is also the mother of his three children.
The two met through the industry– Andrea was a breakup dancer for his shows, and went on to become a creative director and choreographer for many of Kelly’s performances after they tied the knot.
Drea, a Chicago native, currently lives in Los Angeles.
In June, she came forward with allegations of abuse against her ex-husband, saying that at the time, the abuse even led her to contemplate suicide. Speaking of hitting her low point, Drea shared with People, “At the time I didn’t know there was such a thing as spousal rape. He’d tried to lock me in the bathroom. I remember being ready to jump off the balcony of our hotel suite and commit suicide. Thank God I didn’t. After that I said, ‘I’m done.’ In 2004 I called my dad, packed my bags and left with our kids in the night.”
On another occasion, Drea tells Billboard that the two were having an argument. Kelly “took both of my arms behind me, tied them and then attached my legs to my arms. He hogtied me and left me on the side of the bed and actually fell asleep.”
Drea made her television public debut in 2012 for the VH1 show Hollywood Exes. She later starred in her first film, Before I Do.
She is an award-winning choreographer and professionally trained dancer, and, according to her website, has been compared to legends like Bob Fosse, Katherine Dunham, and Josephine Baker.
Prior to marrying Lee, Kelly was briefly married to singer Aaliyah. At the time, Aaliyah was just 15. The two wed at Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont, Illinois.
The pair never admitted to being married, however, Vibe published a copy of their marriage certificate. According to The Source, Aaliyah subsequently admitted to lying about her age. In 1997, she filed a case to have records of her marriage to Kelly expunged.
In tonight’s documentary, singer Jovante Cunningham claims, through tears, that she once saw Kelly have sex with Aaliyah on a tour bus. “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. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah,” she claims in the documentary.
Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, has come forward saying that is not true. She posted a statement to her daughter’s official Twitter account that read, “My husband and I were always on tour with [Aaliyah] and at interviews and every place she went throughout her entire career… Whoever this woman is [who is making the allegations], I have never seen her before anywhere on planet earth, until now.”