Late singer Aaliyah’s mom, Diane Haughton, came to her daughter’s defense on Jan. 2 after a former backup dancer claimed she had underage sex while on tour with a then 27-year-old R. Kelly in a new documentary.
Aaliyah‘s mom, Diane Haughton proved she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her late daughter’s legacy when she released a strong statement of denial about the shocking claims that the singer had sex with musician R. Kelly, now 51, when she was 15 and he was 27. In a new Lifetime docu-series called Surviving R. Kelly, which is about the R&B artist’s dark past full of alleged physical and emotional abuse of various women, former backup dancer, Jovante Cunningham, gave a gutsy interview in which she said she saw R.Kelly, whose full first name is Robert, and Aaliyah having sex with her own eyes while they were on a tour bus together.
“We were out on the road with Aaliyah,” Jovante said in the first episode of the docu-series. “On a tour bus, there really aren’t many confined spaces. When you get on the bus there are bunks and so these bunks have little curtains you can pull at night if you don’t want anybody to see you sleeping. [At one point] the door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.” She went on to explain it as doing “things that an adult should not be doing with a child.”
It didn’t take long for Diane to speak out against Jovante and call her a “liar”. “The woman and so-called back up singer that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar,” she said in her statement to E! News. “My husband and I were always on tour with her and at interviews and every place she went throughout her entire career. Whoever this woman is, I have never seen her before anywhere on planet earth, until now.” She continued by saying Jovante’s claims were “lies and fabrications” and they “can not be tolerated and allowed to be spewed from the forked tongues of saboteurs of Aaliyah’s legacy.”
“My daughter only wanted to realize her dream of sharing her talent with the world, and give her all performing on stage and in front of the camera for the fans she adored so much,” Diane went on in the statement. “She realized that dream, thanks to those true fans who still love and support her legacy unconditionally to this day. Shame on all those involved in this project who thought it kosher to drag Aaliyah’s name into a situation that has nothing to do with her today. Once again, this will not be tolerated.”
Diane’s statement comes before the docu-series has even aired. The first episode is set to premiere on Jan. 3 and up until now, only clips and trailers have been released, but that didn’t stop the doting mother from speaking out. In the past, Aaliyah and R. Kelly have faced rumors about an alleged secret marriage between them when Aaliyah was just 15-years-old, so the new accusations from Jovante isn’t the first time the public is hearing about something romantic that allegedly went on between them.
In addition to Jovante’s claims, R. Kelly’s former personal assistant, Demetrius Smith, made his own claims in the docu-series. He alleges that R. Kelly and Aaliyah did indeed get married when she was 15 and he was 27 and said that he got “papers forged for them when Aaliyah was underage.”
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001 at the age of 22.
R.Kelly’s rep told People that they have “no comment” about the claims in Surviving R. Kelly. We also reached out to R. Kelly’s rep but have yet to receive a response.