Aaliyah’s boyfriend in 2001, at the time of her death, Damon Dash, is now sharing some details and thoughts on her disturbing relationship with R. Kelly, when she was underage, after the release of the new Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly.
“I watched some of it yesterday, as much as I could tolerate,” the 47-year-old hip-hop mogul told Kenyatta “the Hip-Hop Motivator” in a new interview. “And I’m not gonna lie, as a human I was tight. I was tight about a couple of things. Number one, there was a girl that was trying to talk about it and couldn’t. And I remember Aaliyah trying to talk about it and she couldn’t. She just would leave it at ‘that dude was a bad man.’”
“And I didn’t really wanna know what he did to the extent that I might feel the need… to deal with it. Just ‘cause that’s what a man does. But it just was so much hurt for her to revisit it. It was like, ‘I wouldn’t even wanna revisit it without a professional.’ Whatever got done was terrible.”
Kelly has staunchly denied the allegations against him.
The co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records went on to admit that Aaliyah’s trauma following her relationship with Kelly was why he would have nothing to do with JAY-Z’s records with the R&B singer.
“You know, I watched John Legend be fearless about his opinion of it, regardless of, politically, how it may seem but I’ve been tight about this s**t for years,” he said. “If you remember [JAY and Kelly’s 2002 album] The Best of Both Worlds, you don’t see my name on that… I never wanted no parts of that.”
“So my homes [JAY] was doing that s**t. I was like ‘Bro, you know homie violated and he violated my girl. He violated a friend of yours,’" he added. "So, you know, when he moved forward I was like... ‘Yo, I don’t want no parts of that. Put my part to Aaliyah’s breast cancer thing.’”
Dash later implied that JAY’s decision to work with Kelly, despite his outspoken objection, was a key factor in the pair ending their professional relationship.
“Karma happens. But the thing that I didn’t understand was, like, ‘I know I’m not f**king with that’ and because of the moral challenge and him choosing one way, I knew, morally, we weren’t the same. So, to me, Rock-A-Fella was defunct. It was over. I couldn’t f**k with it. It was something that, to me, was just like…not to say ‘unforgivable,’ but I couldn’t understand it… I thought, ‘Well, the people aren’t gonna have that’. But nobody said nothing.”
Later, he posed this question: “At the end of the day, my question is why does it take people so long? Why is it only because there’s a documentary and now it’s popular and now people be stepping up? This s**t been going on for years and people been looking the other way.”
Check out the engrossing full interview in the clip above.