Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly premiered in January 2019 as a six-episode event, earning over 20 million viewers in the three nights it was on. Starting tonight, January 2, 2020, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning will air. In a clip released by TMZ, Damon Dash, an ex of Aaliyah’s, speaks out about her feelings toward her marriage to R. Kelly.
The three-night documentary will feature new survivors’ stories and take a look at the overall impact from last year’s documentary now that R. Kelly is facing 18 federal charges including child pornography and kidnapping. Tonight’s special features an interview with Damon Dash, an ex of Aaliyah’s, who condemns the R&B singer.
Surviving R. Kelly was Lifetime’s highest-rated program in more than two years, with more than 19 million viewers. It received critical acclaim, earning a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Damon Dash Says Aaliyah Wanted R. Kelly Kept Away
In a video clip released by TMZ, Damon Dash weighs in on how Aaliyah felt about her underage, and later annulled, marriage to R. Kelly. Aaliyah and R. Kelly were secretly married when she was 15 years old in August 1994. The marriage was annulled in February 1995 by her parents.
“Aaliyah was, like, the sacrificial lamb for all that cause she didn’t deserve none of that,” Dash says in the released clip. “Good soul. Good girl. And wasn’t even so resentful, like, ‘Let that man live, but just keep him the f**k away from me.’ That’s all she wanted. She was just happy to be away.”
Aaliyah passed away on August 25, 2001 when a plane she was on crashed in the Bahamas after filming the music video for “Rock the Boat.” She was 22 years old. She did not publicly comment on her feelings toward R. Kelly and the annulled marriage. It was reported that she cut off all professional and personal ties with Kelly after the marriage was annulled.
“And you know, I know the whole story,” Dash continued, referring to the secret marriage. “You know what I’m sayin’? I know it was the cover-up and all of that. But how did that cover it up? It just made the conversation, ‘Oh, he married a child?’ So how you still … That was a headline! That was, like, a rumor. That was something talked about like it was normal.”
Dash is Speaking Out
Dash met Aaliyah in the summer of 2000 through his accountant, and he dated her until she passed away in 2001. In interviews, Dash said the two had planned to get married.
In a recent interview with BET, Dash outlined why he hasn’t dealt much with R. Kelly. He said he never supported the R&B singer because Aaliyah reportedly said he was a bad man.
“I remember Aaliyah trying to talk about it and she couldn’t,” Dash said in the ‘Hip Hop Motivation’ Interview. “She would just leave it at ‘that dude was a bad man. I’ve been tight about this s**t for years.”
Lifetime continues its partnership with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). During the special, a new PSA will air asking sexual assault victims to speak up and seek help. Following the airing of part one of the documentary, RAINN saw a 20 percent increase from the previous week in people reaching out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline for help.
Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning premieres Thursday, January 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.