The second installment of Lifetime’s documentary series about disgraced R&B star R. Kelly, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, aired on Friday night (Jan. 3). Night one of the three-part sequel took us through the aftermath of Kelly’s arrest in July 2019 and the charges that were brought against him. Night two of the docuseries featured more stories of mental, physical and sexual abuse from survivors, including Lanita Clark, Assante McGee, Jerhonda Pace, and Dominique Gardner, who had agreed to speak on the record with Lifetime about her experience after she left R.Kelly.
In the original 2019 series, Gardner was rescued by her mother, Michelle Kramer. Speaking to Lifetime, Gardner recounts how distraught she felt at leaving Joycelyn Savage at the hotel that day and still feeling afraid that she would get in trouble for breaking one of R. Kelly’s rules, even though she was no longer with him. It was also noted how Gardner’s appearance changed after she moved in with R. Kelly. A producer brought up that were rumors that Kelly wanted Dominique to look more like a boy, to which she responded, “I prefer not to talk about that. “
An anonymous former employee whose identity had been concealed alleges that R. Kelly would sometimes bring in a male participant during sexual acts, stating, “I was not aware of Robert having attractions to boys until a couple of the girls in the house started to talk about there being a guy that he was involved with who would sometimes come into the bedroom with them.” It was not stated whether this unknown male was underage or if he was willing or forced participant. The other survivors have also never publicly mentioned a male presence.
Jerhonda Pace opened up about a suicide pact. “With Rob, I was a part of a suicide pact with him, and if anything was to happen to him, if he was to go to jail or someone was to harm him, I was supposed to kill myself,” she tearfully said. Pace then explained that R. Kelly had outlined how she was supposed to commit suicide in the event that he was taken away from her. “He told me that if I was everything to him, like, that I say he is, there would be no life worth living. When I was with him, I was really ready to take my own life, because Rob, he was everything to me. Rob was my life.”
The Reckoning also highlighted how R. Kelly extensively used non-disclosure agreements to silence his victims. It was also alleged that the 52-year-old had survivors and their family members sign false documents with made-up stories to protect himself in the event his survivors speak out or he was questioned. Last night’s episode introduced Halle Calhoun, who met the R&B singer at a concert when she was 20 years old. Calhoun recounted at a time when her mother met in private with R. Kelly and he had her sign a letter of this nature. Asante McGee, Jerhonda Pace and Dominique Gardener attested that they were asked to write and sign letters, or send text messages as well.
Joycelyn Savage’s parents stated that R. Kelly forced Joycelyn to sign a document claiming that her father had molested her. The Savages denied that Joycelyn has been molested by her father or any other family member.
The third and final installment of Surviving: R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, airs on Lifetime this Saturday (Jan. 4) at 9/8c.
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