In 1996, R. Kelly was sued for $10 million by vocalist Tiffany Hawkins.
Hawkins claimed that she “suffered personal injuries and severe emotional harm because she had sex with the singer and he encouraged her to participate in group sex with him and other underage girls”, according to Rolling Stone. Hawkins said she started having sex with Kelly when she was just 15.
Tonight, Part II of “Surviving R. Kelly” will include interviews with Tiffany Hawkins and many other women who claim to be victims of R. Kelly. The five-part, three-night presentation will also touch upon the falling out associated with Part I of the documentary.
Read on to learn more about Tiffany Hawkins and her role in “Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.”
1. She Sued R. Kelly for ‘Personal Injuries and Emotional Distress’
On Christmas Eve 1996, Hawkins sued R. Kelly for “personal injuries and emotional distress” that she endured during her three-year relationship with the singer, according to BBC.
The lawsuit, obtained by the New Yorker, states that Hawkins and Kelly met in 1991, while Kelly was visiting Kenwood Academy. Kenwood Academy is a well-known high school in Chicago that Kelly attended for one year before dropping out.
As CNN notes, “Kelly has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct and pleaded not guilty in August to charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child in a federal case unrelated to Hawkins.”
2. She Said She Started Having Sex With Kelly When She Was 15 and He Was 24
According to court documents obtained by BBC, Hawkins said she started having sex with Kelly in 1991. At the time, she was 15 and he was 24. Their relationship reportedly ended after three years, just before she turned 18.
The lawsuit, according to the New Yorker, also states that Hawkins attempted suicide just two months after her relationship with Kelly ended. She subsequently sued, referencing Kelly, his manager, and Jive Records as co-defendants.
When Kelly’s lawyers were told of Hawkins’ lawsuit, they filed a lawsuit of their own. The New Yorker writes, “Kelly sought damages of thirty thousand dollars, charging that Hawkins had demanded ‘substantial sums of cash’ and a recording contract or she would “widely publicize the false allegations” that he had fathered her child.”
3. She Was Seeking $10 Million in Damages but Settled for a Fraction of That Amount
According to The Chicago Sun Times, Hawkins was seeking $10 million in damages. Sources, however, state that she settled for a fraction of that amount– $250,000 in January 1998.
When the Chicago Sun Times reached out to Hawkins, she did not respond for comment. Her mother, however, did respond and said that the terms of the settlement prevented her from talking to news publications.
The Chicago Sun Times then reached out to Kelly’s publicist, Regina Daniels, who said, “I’m telling you as his spokesman that I have no comment about that, I have no knowledge of that and I’m just saddened that that’s the only thing you could call me about. That’s my statement.”
4. Another Woman Was Named in Hawkins’ Lawsuit
According to the Chicago Sun Times, another woman was named in Hawkins’ lawsuit. The woman, the outlet reports, “said that she was prepared to testify about what she called Kelly’s ‘sickness’ — his desire for underage females.” This woman said that she met Kelly as a freshman at Kenwood Academy while singing in the choir.
She, Hawkins, and Kelly would spend time together during his recording sessions at the Chicago Recording Company.
She reportedly claimed she had sex with Kelly when she was just 16 in 1991, and she once “had sex with him while he simultaneously fondled the 15-year-old Hawkins,” reports the Chicago Sun Times.
The woman said that she believed Kelly would help advance her music career if she performed sexual favors on him– a sentiment echoed by many of Kelly’s accusers.
5. Hawkins Sang Backup Vocals on R. Kelly’s First Album
According to the New Yorker, Hawkins spent a lot of time with Kelly during her teenage years and even sang backup vocals on “Born Into the 90s”, which was his first album with Public Announcement. To compensate her, Kelly paid Hawkins $300.
When she worked as a “backup rapper” on “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” he paid her $1,500.
The New Yorker goes on to write, “Hawkins also frequently visited Kelly at home, according to her lawsuit, which alleged that Kelly kicked Hawkins out of the recording studio whenever she didn’t want to have sex. The suit explained that she agreed to some of the acts that he demanded in the studio and at his homes, including threesomes with other underage girls, and it claimed that she traveled with Kelly and had sexual contact with him on his tour bus in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Washington, D.C.”
“Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning” will air January 2-4 on Lifetime.