VanAllen recently shared her story on the Lifetime series “Surviving R. Kelly.”
In 2008, Lisa VanAllen was five months pregnant when she took the stand in Kelly’s case where he was acquitted of 14 counts of child pornography. Kelly made international headlines after prosecutors claimed that a sex tape, allegedly featuring the singer and an underage girl, made the rounds on the internet. VanAllen was also featured on the tape, the only other person on the video, and testified on behalf of the prosecution. She was scrutinized, criticized, and when Kelly was found not guilty, she ultimately felt as if the jury didn’t believe her as one of the first young women to say that they were sexually abused by the award-winning singer.
Following Kelly’s recent arrest, VanAllen has written an op-ed piece for the New York Times titled “I Survived R. Kelly, Again and Again” where she recalls meeting Kelly as a teenager. He was in his 30s.
“I was just 17 when I met Rob years earlier, still a minor myself when he first coaxed me into group sex with him and the girl on the tape. He told me she was 16,” Van Allen wrote. “On the first day of trial, I thought one of Rob’s associates who had threatened to kill me a few months earlier might try. Because Rob knew that I knew the whole truth. Several people testified against him, but only three of us — Rob, the other girl and I — knew everything. The other girl wouldn’t testify. Her parents refused to admit she was in the video; they failed her. So I was the one left to shut up.”
“Taking the stand was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. I was barraged with questions for three hours, so much so I almost forgot who was on trial. I was belittled and embarrassed. I was dragged for bad things I had done in my past. I was called a ‘streetwalker.’ They wanted me to feel like trash.”
VanAllen, who was featured in executive producer Dream Hampton’s Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly, also wrote “It’s been a long time coming, but here we are. The documentary, the #MeToo and the #MuteRKelly movements and the brave people speaking their truth or organizing for change have led to new indictments against Rob and opened peoples eyes. If convicted, he could face up to 70 years in prison.”
Time will only tell whether or not Kelly’s upcoming case will end like his last.