Allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding R. Kelly “certainly” played a role in Destiny’s Child turning down a collaboration with the singer in the 1990s, says Beyoncé Knowles‘ father Mathew Knowles.
Knowles, who acted as Destiny’s Child‘s manager at the time, told Metro he passed on a tune Kelly had written for the group’s first album partly because it wasn’t up to scratch, and partly because of his “reputation”.
“This was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things,” Knowles said.
In 1994, a then 27-year-old Kelly married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah. The pair used a false marriage certificate to claim she was 18. In new documentary series Surviving R Kelly, former backup singer Jovante Cunningham claims to have seen Kelly and Aaliyah having sex while she was still underage.
Kelly has strenuously denied the allegations of misconduct.
Knowles added that his former partner Tina Knowles would accompany the members of Destiny’s Child to the toilet while recording at Kelly’s studio.
“The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them,” Knowles said.
“They did not leave our eyes.”
While Destiny’s Child did cut one song written by Kelly – Stimulate Me, from the soundtrack of 1999 film Life – Metro reports the group did not collaborate with Kelly on the tune in person.
Surviving R Kelly has only intensified the focus on the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Kelly, who was extraordinarily acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, and has been accused of manipulating a number of women in a cult-like environment.
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