TRAUMA

Aaliyah’s Ex Damon Dash Says She Couldn’t Talk About R. Kelly

In an interview with Damon Dash, the ex-boyfriend of late R&B singer Aaliyah, Dash said the impact of her relationship with R. Kelly was so powerful that she was unable to talk about it. Aaliyah was a rising star when she was involved with the singer and producer R. Kelly, who has long been accused of sexual misconduct and preying on teenagers. The two allegedly had a sexual relationship when Aaliyah was just 15, and reportedly got married with forged documents that falsely claimed Aaliyah was 18. Dash, who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z, shared that he’s been unable to watch Surviving R. Kelly, Lifetime’s recent explosive documentary series, because of his close relationship to Aaliyah. Dash added that he tried to talk his business partner out of working with Kelly on the 2002 album The Best of Both Worlds. “I was like ‘Bro, you know homie... violated my girl. He violated a friend of yours,’” Dash said. “So, you know, when he moved forward I was like… ‘Yo, I don’t want no parts of that.’”

Surviving R. Kelly features women who allege that Kelly sexually and physically abused women and young girls for decades. “I remember Aaliyah trying to talk about it and she couldn’t,” Dash said. “She just would leave it at, ‘That dude was a bad man.’”