The final installment (Jan. 6) of Lifetime’s six-part docu-series Surviving R. Kelly was a fitting end to a devastating story detailing the disgraced R&B singer’s sexual and physical abuse of young girls and women. There were a myriad of startling revelations from survivors and the parents of survivors.
Here are some of the bombshells.
According to a survivor named Jerhonda Pace, Kelly routinely physically assaulted her and other women. In 2016, she claimed he choked her until she blacked out. “I just hit the floor,” she recalled. It was after that sobering incident that Pace finally gathered up the courage to leave Kelly.
Jerhonda left R Kelly after he choked her until she blacked out. She turned over all evidence to the Illinois Bureau of Investigation. #SurvivingRKelly— April (@ReignOfApril) January 6, 2019
Kitti Jones, a radio DJ from Dallas, also experienced Kelly’s violent eruptions. The pair met during his Love Letter tour in 2011 when she was 33. She soon quit her job and moved into the singer’s Chicago estate. But after being asked by a friend if she had seen Kelly’s infamous child porn tape, she Googled the clip only to discover that she had recently been introduced to the same underage girl filmed having sex the Chicago native. She instantly called Kelly in tears to tell him what she had just witnessed. “Bitch, don’t ever accuse me of something like that ever again!” Kelly allegedly snapped, later beating and slapping her repeatedly in his car.
When Mitchelle Kramer found out her estranged daughter Dominique Gardner was staying at a Beverly Hills hotel after seeing her in a TMZ video with Joycelyn Savage, she quickly flew out to Los Angeles in May of 2018. “At this point, she was 21, 22,” Kramer recalled of the moment her child told her she was moving to Kelly’s mansion in Atlanta. “What could I do? All I could do is pray and hope that just one day she would wake up and come home.”
But getting Dominique to come back home proved to be a seemingly insurmountable battle. After several hours, Kramer was finally led to a hotel room where she saw her daughter dressed in a do-rag and T-shirt. The pair’s tearful embrace doesn’t last long. When the mother attempts a follow-up, Kramer is told by management that the police have been contacted, forcing her to leave the premises. It seems someone had erroneously claimed that Gardner was not her daughter.
Gardner later tells her mother that someone in Kelly’s camp called the authorities. They secretly meet in a restroom as Kramer sneaks her terrified daughter out of the hotel. “You so brave…you so beautiful…” Michelle tells a crying, exhausted Gardner as they drive off. It’s later revealed that Gardner returned to Kelly just days after her escape. She is currently back with her family.
r kelly dead ass made dominque call the police on her MOTHER ! the same mother that she was crying to and pleading with ! he has these poor girls brainwashed and controlled can someone PLEASE take him to prison #survingrkelly pic.twitter.com/RCpIVYAc3u— 💜 (@taexmoonchild) January 6, 2019
We start in 2008, just 10 years ago. R Kelly was about 41 years old.— April (@ReignOfApril) January 6, 2019
Dominque first met R Kelly at age 17. Her mother hasn't seen her in a year.
Azriel Clary was 17 years old when she first met Kelly in 2015 at a concert he was headlining in Orlando. Although her parents, Angelo and Alice, knew of the singer’s reputation they allowed the aspiring singer to go onstage with him. The two later secretly texted and spoke on the phone, but when Azriel told her parents that she was auditioning for Kelly at his hotel, they rightly flipped. Kelly attempted to diffuse the incident claiming that he saw star potential in their daughter. It was agreed that the multiplatinum songwriter and producer would help get Azriel’s career off the ground only if she was accompanied by a trusted guardian.
Azriel’s parents KNOWING R. Kelly’s background allowed their daughter to go onstage with that fool? I’m done with this show. pic.twitter.com/OaHS5VlzLo— No Catchy Name...Simply KJ (@therealkj4) January 6, 2019
The deal was a ruse. As soon as Azriel turned the legal age of 18, she stopped answering her parents’ calls. At one point, Azriel’s sister A’Iceis flew out to Chicago to watch over her and discovered Kelly had the girls urinating in buckets because he wouldn’t allow them to go to the bathroom without his supervision. Even more alarming, when A’Iceis attempted to drag her sister out of the recording studio Kelly intervened. “And then R. Kelly is pulling my sister, and I’m pulling her too, and I tell R. Kelly, ‘I’m going to call the police and tell them you kidnapped my sister.’”
Kelly allegedly ordered his security to make A’Iceis “disappear” and threatened, “If you say anything, your sister won’t make it out alive, or your family.” The last time the Clary family saw Azriel was at her high school graduation in 2016. “She fell in love with someone that is a predator…it’s heartbreaking,” said a distraught Alice Clary.
“I ain’t calling R. Kelly ‘Daddy.’ He ain’t my daddy. My daddy’s in Florida.” A’Iceis.— John Mayer, as a Sim (@JohnMayerAsASim) January 6, 2019
When escaping did R. kelly threaten to kill the victims? #SurivingRKelly— L e x (@mahoganylexus) January 6, 2019
Asante McGee, an R. Kelly super fan, soon found out just how sick and controlling her hero could be. The 35-year-old began dating him in 2014 and was exposed to a world of orgies, isolation and abuse in his Atlanta mansion. When McGee returned to the mansion that Kelly had been evicted from, the nightmares came rushing back, particularly her painful memories of the Black Room where the man she today calls the devil allegedly made her do “unthinkable” sex acts. McGee was often times withheld food for disobeying orders and wasn’t allowed to come downstairs without knocking on the floor first.
I just thought R.Kelly's cult was on some "sex slave" shit. Just for him. And I'm sure it operates in that capacity too but he's got these girls holed up in a hotel two to a room on some buddy system shit. Safe to deduce he's pimping these girls out too— Beyonce has an uncle named Larry Beyince. Bruh.... (@DragonflyJonez) January 6, 2019
Faith Rodgers first began dating Kelly when she was 19 years old after meeting him in March of 2017. Rodgers is currently suing the singer for giving her herpes. At one point during the documentary interview, Rodgers describes having sex with Kelly as being “consensual but it was consented by intimidation…who are you to tell R. Kelly no?” During their first sexual encounter the control freak reportedly told Rodgers she needed to “work on her moaning skills” and was shocked to learn that she was being recorded with an iPad.
Faith Rodgers’ case is the one thing that could actually get R. Kelly behind bars if there is proof he knowingly gave her an STD #SurivingRKelly— JMKTV 🇰🇪🇺🇸 (@JMKTVTweets) January 6, 2019
The families of Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary joined forces to implore the police to conduct welfare checks at Kelly’s homes. Unfortunately, said one anonymous former employee of R. Kelly, the singer was allegedly tipped off to the impromptu visits by law enforcement. "R. Kelly knew about the wellness check in Chicago before it happened because he has friends in the police department in Chicago, who warned him,” said the source. Since the airing of Surviving R. Kelly, neither Azriel Clary nor Joycelyn Savage have been returned to their families.
Joycelyn, Azriel and homegirl from the sex tape are all still with R. Kelly now.. who knows how many others— J. Holiday’s Gucci Jacket (@eleven8) January 6, 2019
I am truly concerned for Azriel, Joycelyn, and whomever else is in his custody right now. As the walls close in R Kelly may do something drastic. #SurvivingRKelly— Joanna Simkin (@JoannaSimkin) January 6, 2019
Photo: Scott Legato/Getty Images