Sparkle reacts to ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ criticism: “There were things left out”


There were tons of people who spoke out against R. Kelly in Lifetime’s documentary, Surviving R. Kelly including his former protege, Sparkle.

The singer faded away from the spotlight after she testified against Kelly during his trial in 2008. She claims her own niece is the 14-year-old girl Kelly is allegedly shown urinating on in the infamous sex tape that prompted the trial.

Sparkle sat down with SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show to elaborate on her experiences with Kelly and responded to the criticism she has received since the documentary aired. She also revealed that she wishes more of her story had been featured in the explosive expose.

Clay Cane: One of the things that I saw on social media that people were saying, considering we all knew that R. Kelly married Aaliyah at 15 and you knew Aaliyah, what made you feel comfortable introducing your 12-year-old niece to him?

Sparkle: See, that’s the thing. I’m glad you asked that question because look, Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson was Robert’s Manager. So, there was no need for I didn’t think anything because like I stated, most of my time was in the studio and singing the background. I didn’t have much interaction with anybody basically because I was there for a job and that’s what I was doing. Um, so I mean that’s a question that everybody should be asking him. Um, the uncle because you know, if he’s around and he’s, you know, an overseer of her, you know, I didn’t see anything.

Clay Cane: Oh, you mean Barry was the uncle to your niece?

Sparkle: No, to Aaliyah. Barry Hankerson is Robert’s ex manager, who was there, you know, who presented that situation. So, you know, that’s not a question that everybody should be asking me. I didn’t see anything with the Aaliyah thing. Even on the Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number CD I didn’t sing on “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” That’s one of the songs that I didn’t sing. I didn’t even know about that song until the album came out. 92′ was when I did all of, you know, did the work for, for that album, and then I was gone up until 96′. I had no interaction at all.

Clay Cane: I think one of the questions folks have been saying as well, we did all know he married Aaliyah at 15. So was that in your mind?

Sparkle: Yeah, but who, who thought that was real? You know what I mean? Like I didn’t even, I thought that was a hoax that that’s not real, you know, you know, that was my naiveté of thinking that it wasn’t real because like again, Barry Hankerson was there. This shouldn’t and couldn’t have happened. I’m thinking now this is a hoax. She’s only 15. Oh, this is nothing. He can’t marry a young girl. So, you know, didn’t think anything of it.

Clay Cane: Oh, so even when you saw the marriage certificate in Vibe, you were like this…

Sparkle: Well, after I saw the marriage certificate and I was like, okay, maybe there’s something to it. But again, I’m thinking the uncle was there, the parents are there. This can’t be.

Clay Cane: What do you say to people that say she knew she ignored clear signs and she did it because she wanted a career? What’s your reaction to that, Sparkle?

Sparkle: I did not know. Like, hear me. I did not know. Had I known when it first jumped off, I would have reacted the same way I reacted when I did know. I called the authorities even prior to the tape becoming um, to my knowledge, um, I got phone calls from his inner camp, from a couple people, saying something wasn’t right and that I should be looking into this. I called the authorities. I called the authorities and they came and they investigated my sister and brother-in-law, along with my niece and they stated that nothing was going on. I did that. And then fast forward to 2001, late 2001, when I saw the tape, you know, I called the authorities. I did what I was supposed to do and what was right. I didn’t hesitate. Not a second. I was on the phone with them.

Clay Cane: Do you feel like you’re being unfairly criticized?

Sparkle: Of course I do. Ya know, but, like you stated, look, I sat there for four and a half, five hours speaking the truth, and you may see 10, 15 minutes of me in the documentary. And there were things left out. There was things spliced up, and ya know, I’ve wished that Lifetime would release the unedited versions of everything that I stated.

Listen to the full interview, here.