R. Kelly Survivor Lisa Van Allen: "It's So Good to Be Heard"


Jada Pinkett Smith recently had Lisa Van Allen, who appeared in the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, on her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, where Allen detailed the cycle of abuse she survived during her time with Kelly.

Allen recounted to an emotional Smith, along with daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, that she met Kelly when she was just 17, and he soon manipulated her into threesomes with a 14-year-old girl (who appeared on the tape at the center of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial) by saying he’d never had one before.

“When he first told me he had never had a threesome, I felt like I needed to do that for him because we were together, and I was living with him, and I did it. And then he wanted another one and another one,” Allen says. “That’s when it was like, ‘Uh oh.’”

Allen grew up in foster care and is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, said Kelly used that abuse to keep her in the relationship by being her “knight in shining armor.” Allen says she left for good when Kelly wouldn’t stop insisting that her young daughter wear dresses instead of pants.

She also says that Kelly outlined his abuse of R&B star Aaliyah to her as well. “He had a thing called pins and eyeballs, no matter if they stick pins in your eyeballs, you don’t talk about what we do […] and he said he had that pact with Aaliyah as well.”

“It’s so good to be heard,” Allen says at the beginning of the first episode in the two-part series, to which Smith replies, “I’m sorry you didn’t get it sooner.”

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