Aaliyah's Mother Slams R. Kelly Underage Sex Allegations
The mother of late R&B icon Aaliyah has hit back at claims R. Kelly had sexual relations with her then-underage daughter.
Diane Haughton is speaking out amid allegations that the controversial rapper R. Kelly had a sexual relationship with her daughter, Aaliyah, while she was underage.
Back in the early '90s, Aaliyah Haughton -- just 12 years old at the time -- was introduced to R. Kelly by her uncle Barry Hankerson. Kelly soon became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer.
A relationship soon allegedly developed, and at the age of just 15, Aaliyah reportedly married a 27-year-old Kelly in August 1994, before her parents had the union annulled in 1995 due to the singer being underage at the time.
Then, at the height of her career, Aaliyah was tragically killed in a plane crash in August 2001, at the Marsh Harbour Airport on the Abaco Islands, Bahamas, at the age of 22.
Since then, there have been a number of accusations against R. Kelly, including allegations -- made public by BuzzFeed -- that the singer is holding women against their will in an abusive "sex cult" in Georgia.
Now, the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly sets out to explore the various allegations, as well as give insight into his and Aaliyah's relationship.
Most notably, backup dancer Jovante Cunningham has come forward in the series alleging that she witnessed Kelly having sex with an underage Aaliyah on a tour bus.
“We were out on the road with Aaliyah. 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,” Cunningham said to People.
"So, it just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing. When the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”
When asked to detail about what she saw, she said, “Things that an adult should not be doing with a child. I can’t stress to you how people are still suffering behind things that went on 20 years ago.”
Since Cunningham's explosive revelation, Aaliyah's mother has come out swinging, vehemently denying the allegations against Kelly.
"The woman and so-called backup singer that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar," Haughton said in a 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, "My daughter only wanted to realise 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. She realised 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."
Lifetime has said that Surviving R. Kelly aims to "shed a light on controversial R&B star R. Kelly, whose history of alleged abuse of underage African American girls has until recently been largely ignored by mainstream media."
R. Kelly's rep told People that they had "no comment" about the allegations detailed in Surviving R. Kelly. You can check out the trailer for the series below.
Image: Getty Images.