Lisa Van Allen Talks About ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Docu: ‘There’s a Big Difference Between the Entertainer and Robert’
Lisa Van Allen joined “The Real” hosts on Thursday to talk about the difference between R. Kelly and the person she knew as Robert, and what she wants people to take away from the upcoming Lifetime documentary titled "Surviving R. Kelly."
Lisa met the singer when she was 17, and the pair began a relationship. She testified against him in his 2008 child pornography trial, in which he was found not guilty.
“What would you say is the biggest difference between R. Kelly and the person you knew as Robert?” Adrienne asked Lisa.
“There’s a big difference,” Lisa replied. “R. Kelly is an entertainer. He’s lovable… he’s an awesome person. Robert is different. Robert is controlling. Robert has to tell you what to wear. You can’t speak to men… he’s like Jekyll and Hyde; two totally different people.”
The Lifetime series features interviews with R. Kelly’s brother, his ex-wife, John Legend, and other female accusers.
“I want it to raise awareness. I want to help someone else’s daughter,” Lisa said of the documentary. “I hope that the girls that are there will get strength from watching this. It’s crazy because people don’t understand that once you’re out of that situation, it still goes on with all of us.
"All these girls are still dealing with what they dealt with, no matter how long you were there. You take it with you, so I want people to understand that if you’re buying his music, listening to his songs, going to his concerts, you’re helping him do this to these young girls. You’re saying it’s okay.”
Loni asked Lisa how she talks to her own kids about what she went through.
“I’m really open with my oldest child, who is 16,” Lisa said. “I talk to her about things I went through, just to make sure she doesn’t go down that path. We talk. I keep an open conversation with her about whatever she wants to discuss. I want people to learn from what I went through. I couldn’t save myself, but I hope and pray I can save someone else’s child.”
When Adrienne asked what she meant by saving herself, Lisa told her, “I was a child, I was young, dating a man, so I didn’t know what a relationship with a man is supposed to be like. I was going off what he told me. He told me if I say if I don’t want to do this, he would say, well, his mother always told him if you love a man you won’t change him, so I’m thinking, I guess, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
"As I got older and I became a woman, I realized, you know what? This isn’t right. There’s things I wouldn’t do or deal with as a young girl as I got older."
In early December, Lisa and a number of other women appearing in the documentary were due to speak at a screening in New York, but an anonymous call about a shooting threat came in and they had to evacuate.
Lisa told the ladies, “I feel like it was an act of desperation. I think everybody kind of knows who that could have been. I don’t see how the call came from Chicago at the time that we were there at this upscale restaurant. I feel like it was an act of desperation.”
Lisa said there was no evidence of a shooting that was going to take place.