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Diane Houghton, the mother of the late singer and R. Kelly protege Aaliyah, is shutting down accusations made about her daughter in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly docuseries.
Essence reported that preview footage from the series shows former R. Kelly backup singer Jovante Cunningham claim she saw Kelly and Aalyiah, who was underage at the time, having sex on a tour bus.
“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,” Cunningham said.
Houghton issued a pointed statement slamming Cunningham and the series:
“The woman and so-called back up singer in the forthcoming ‘Surviving...’ documentary that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar. 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.
“These lies and fabrications cannot 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. 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.”
In 1994, Kelly, then 27, secretly married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. According to a marriage license published by Vibe magazine, her age was listed as 18. The marriage was annulled in 1995.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001. She was 22 years old.
“Surviving R. Kelly” airs in three parts on Jan. 3 through Jan. 5 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.