Jada Pinkett Smith is yet another celebrity who feels compelled to address the ongoing controversy surrounding R. Kelly. The famed actress has opted to dedicate a special two-part edition of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, to addressing the many claims discussed in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly. On Friday, January 11, Jada Pinkett Smith, along with her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne, sat down for an intimate, round-table discussion with R. Kelly survivor Lisa Van Allen.
The ladies tearfully discussed the six-part docuseries, which premiered January 3. Jada Pinkett Smith began by sharing her reaction to all she witnessed while watching the disturbing docuseries. She went on to offer her opinion on how R. Kelly has managed to slip through the cracks of the legal system for so many years. According to Jada Pinkett Smith, “we ignored it.”
“I have to tell you, I felt a lot of things,” Pinkett Smith said of the docuseries. “I had a lot of feelings about it. One being, I was like ‘Man, wow how complicit we all have been?’ That really broke my heart, like to really think about. We, we ignored it.”
Jada Pinkett Smith went on to discuss one particular incident where she felt complicit in ignoring all of the disturbing allegations against R. Kelly. Back in September, when Jada’s husband, Will Smith, celebrated his 50th birthday bungee jumping from the Grand Canyon, they filmed the captivating moment playing R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” in the background, according to Essence. Although the Grammy Award-winning song has become a musical anthem of inspiration, Jada Pinkett Smith now believes R. Kelly’s dark life behind closed doors diminishes the impact of the song.
When Lisa Van Allen joined the discussion, the conversation reached another level of intensity that left all four of the ladies in tears. She tearfully recalled how she met R. Kelly in an Atlanta studio at the age of 17. Initially, the relationship was like a dream come true for Lisa, but that dream quickly became a nightmare, marred by emotional abuse, manipulation, and disturbing sexual acts Lisa admitted she only performed to make him happy. According to Refinery 59, Lisa also discussed the infamous sex tape revealing she’d also had a sexual encounter with the young lady featured on that tape, per R. Kelly’s request.
“He told me all of his personal problems and turmoils. And that’s part of it, because when he did that I felt I was so special,” Lisa said. “Like now, I can tell him what I’ve been through, let my guard down. He’s a master manipulator. He says what he needs to say to get what he wants done. He knew my whole background.”
Lisa Van Allen is one of several women to speak out against R. Kelly.