Actress Keke Palmer is speaking out about her former mentor, R. Kelly, saying the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly was “eye-opening, painful, sad, disappointing and heartbreaking.”
The Lifetime documentary aired early this year and highlights testimony from multiple women who claim the singer physically, sexually and mentally abused them when they were underage.
Palmer, 25, appeared on Sunday’s Watch What Happens Live when host Andy Cohen asked if she was surprised by the allegations levelled against the embattled singer.
“Yes, because that’s not the side I knew. That’s not the person that I worked with. That’s not the experience I had,” Palmer said. “So, just imagine if you’re having a great experience with someone and then you’re hearing all this stuff it’s like, ‘Why didn’t you show them what you showed me?’ That’s the feeling I had.”
Palmer who starred on the Fox series Scream Queens star said Kelly was nothing but encouraging to her when they worked together and he and helped her find that much needed balance as both a singer and actress, Yahoo reports.
“When I was younger, I always felt like I had to separate [singing and acting],” Palmer told Billboard back in 2017.
“But I spent a lot of time working with R. Kelly and one thing that he told me, he was like, ‘Keke, you don’t need to shy away from your acting,” she continued. “You bring that to a part of your music. You make that take your music to the next level.’ ”
On WWHL, Palmer explained why she couldn’t even talk about Surviving R. Kelly after watching it.
“I hated talking about it because I felt like, man, you were a friend to me but then I’m seeing you as a foe to others and I’m hurt for them,” she said. “How do I feel about it? How do I put myself in this position now? It was very sad. I think that anybody that loved him as a person probably feels that way. That’s not something you want to hear about somebody that you cared for. “
Palmer addressed the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries in January in a statement shared on social media, noting, in part, that she was “hurt and saddened,” but made clear that she would “stand by my sisters because that’s simply what’s right and what I hope discontinues this behavior in anyone.”
R. Kelly is currently facing multiple charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in his hometown Chicago. He pleaded not guilty in June and has denied all accusations against him.