R. Kelly Accuser's Daughter Cries as She Says Mom's Story Changed Her Perspective
R. Kelly Accuser Lisa Van Allen and her daughter Akeyla appear on an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk
During the second half of a two-part episode of the show released on Monday, the two women — joined by Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris — talk about their experience watching Lifetime’s shocking new docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly, together. In the clip, Akeyla explains that it was eye-opening to watch her mother detail in the docu-series the alleged abuse she suffered from the hit-making singer and producer during their 10-year relationship and that it was the first time she heard the full story.
“It was hard, and it hurt me because nobody wants to hear that about their mom,” Akeyla, 16, says during the round-table discussion while breaking down in tears. “It has changed my perspective on a lot of stuff because people are really judgmental nowadays. Anyone could be going through anything, and they don’t show you. It’ll make you realize that’s why they act the way they act – this is why they have anger issues and stuff.”
“I always used to question about my mom, ‘Why is she so overprotective?'” she continues. “I understand now that it’s scary out there. People are crazy.”
When Willow asks Akeyla if anyone has come up to her at school in wake of the docu-series’ release, she answers that she mostly gets questions through social media.
“Someone [direct messaged] me earlier today and was like, ‘Not to be rude, but does R. Kelly send you guys money?'” Akeyla says. “Like, why would you say that? Why would he send us money? For what? So I just blocked the person.”
She adds: “They’ll make up anything and say it just so you can either respond or just so you can get mad or so your feelings will be hurt.”
Surviving R. Kelly aired in six parts on Lifetime from Jan. 3 through Jan. 5. Along with R. Kelly’s alleged victims, who claim that for decades he has used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and young girls, the series also features wide-ranging interviews with R. Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues.
Van Allen, 38, previously told PEOPLE that she first met R. Kelly, 52, in Atlanta at the video shoot for his song “Home Alone” in 1998. She was just 17 years old at the time, and she said one of the first things the singer asked her was, “How old are you?”
“We had sex that same day — he didn’t waste any time,” she said. “If I didn’t listen to him or if I spoke to one of the guys on the tour bus, he’d smack me. Once he spanked me like a child until I cried. He said, ‘I love you, you got to listen to Daddy.'”
“We had a threesome when I was 17, and he said that she was a 16-year-old neighbor,” she continued. “After speaking with her years later, I learned she was only 14 at the time. I loved him, and initially I didn’t want to turn my back on him. If I brought up him liking underage girls, he would always come at me with ‘If you love someone, you don’t try to change them.'”
After watching the docu-series and hearing her mother’s story, Akeyla says on Red Table Talk episode that her perspective of men has changed “a lot.”
“I’m more cautious,” she says. “I’m not even interested in dating, I’m not in a rush. A lot of people nowadays at my school are like, ‘I want a boyfriend.’ I’m like, ‘No.'”
Van Allen goes on to say that her daughter recently had to cut a relationship short after the man who was pursuing her became aggressive.
“She was telling me he was overpowering, like she wanted space,” Van Allen says. “He was back to back going, ‘What the F is wrong with you? Answer me.’ She was like, ‘Oh no.'”
Akeyla explains that even after she blocked the man in question’s number, he reached out through direct message on Instagram.
“I saw it as a red flag from [my mother’s] experience,” she says. “Then when he started getting aggressive and was like, ‘Why are you ignoring me?’ I’m like, ‘Bye.'”
Van Allen also claims that she and R. Kelly got into “a really big argument” after she got drunk one night. She said she was “afraid” the next day of what he would do to her, but he instead called her down to play a song he had just written titled, “I Don’t Mean It.”
“So he would do things like that, write songs for you. You’re thinking, ‘This is great,'” Van Allen says. “You forgot he just threw water in your face and said, ‘You’re out of here.’ Then he comes and does something like that.”
The group is later joined by Dr. Candice Norcott, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago School of Medicine who is also featured in the docu-series, and she explains how it can sometimes take a while for a woman who is being abused to leave because “women don’t necessarily want the relationship to stop, they just want the abuse to stop.”
Van Allen continues to say of her relationship with R. Kelly, “Me, at 17 dating a 31 year old, how would I know what dating a man would be like at 17? All I could say to myself was, ‘He’s a grown man, he would know better than I would.'”
In the first half of Red Table Talk episode, which was released on Friday, Van Allen opened up why she hadn’t turned R. Kelly in sooner.
“I loved him,” she said. “I wanted to help him get better first because that’s how we work as far as love goes. I’m not going to call the cops on someone I love. I’m going to try to figure out how to help you and what I can do to save you.”
When she realized that “he didn’t want help,” she said her feelings began to change.
“Once I realized he couldn’t be saved — he didn’t want to be saved — he would tell me things like: ‘My mama told me if you love a man, you don’t try to change him.’ The older I got it was like, ‘Boy, that’s some bull,'” she said.
RELATED VIDEO: R. Kelly’s Estranged Daughter Calls Her Father a ‘Monster’ as She Speaks Out in an Emotional Post
Representatives for Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, previously responded “no comment” to PEOPLE’s request for a response to the allegations made in the docu-series and in PEOPLE’s interviews with the alleged victims.
R. Kelly’s lawyer has denied the allegations made in Lifetime’s documentary. In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, Chicago-based attorney Steve Greenberg called the documentary “disgusting” and claimed that producers told “disgruntled” women incriminating things to say about Kelly off camera in an effort to incriminate the Grammy winner.
Producers of the film, however, denied these allegations. “We are enormously proud of the series. The powerful stories from the women in the documentary speak for themselves,” they previously said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Their honesty and candor has resonated with millions of viewers.”
The New York Times reports that investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia contacted Gerald A. Griggs, the lawyer for Timothy and Jonjelyn Savage, on Monday. Timothy and Jonjelyn claim R. Kelly is holding their daughter, Joycelyn Savage, against her will. The couple was interviewed in the docu-series.
“We hope that it will turn into a fruitful investigation and it will result in the return of Joycelyn Savage to her family or, at the very least, that she start opening continuous conversations and interactions with her family like she had before she met Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly,” Griggs told PEOPLE on Wednesday.
While no charges have currently been brought in Kelly’s other residence of Chicago, Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx held a press conference on Tuesday to encourage any victims to “please come forward.”
“If we are going to take these allegations seriously — it isn’t one of those situations where it’s just forensics, we need actual witnesses and victims to have the courage to tell their stories,” she said. “We cannot do anything related to these allegations without the cooperation of victims and witnesses.”
In 2008, a Cook County jury found Kelly not guilty on 14 counts of child pornography charges.
Foxx added that her office is talking to two families whose loved ones had been in contact with Kelly.
“I was sickened. I was sickened by the allegations, I was sickened as a survivor, I was sickened as a mother, I’m sickened as a prosecutor,” she said of the docu-series. “I’ve worked in this office for a number of years including in 2008, and so the allegations were not new to me, but I think listening to survivors and giving the platform for survivors to tell their stories was heartbreaking.”
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.