Aaliyah's ex-boyfriend Damon Dash says she was 'the sacrificial lamb' in R. Kelly 'cover-up'

Kylie Mar
·Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

It's been one year since Surviving R. Kelly premiered, which led to the singer's arrest less than two months later and ultimately found R. Kelly behind bars without bond while facing multiple federal cases. While Kelly remains incarcerated until his trial later this year, on Thursday night, Lifetime aired Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, a five-hour follow-up to last year’s bombshell docuseries airing over three consecutive nights.

There were several takeaways from the first installment, including several accusers going on the record; perhaps the biggest revelation, however, was when Aaliyah's ex-boyfriend Damon Dash, who was dating Aaliyah when she died in 2001, got candid about her marriage to Kelly in 1994, when she was only 15 years old.

"She just said he was a bad man, and she left it at that," Dash said about Aaliyah. "I'm just saying, it just made her so uncomfortable, that I couldn't know about it, because it would've made me too uncomfortable not to try to rectify that situation. But I just wouldn't have been able to tolerate, you know, knowing certain things and being in the same room with certain people. You know what I mean? Unless they're begging me not to. So, I had to get therapy over that."

"If, like, people would have protected Aaliyah, so many other girls wouldn't have got touched. You understand what I'm saying? And whether they know they're in a bad place or not, the fact that they were able to get touched meant they were in a bad place, and they would've been able to get help earlier. You know, you shouldn't have to always learn from pain. Sometimes you can learn from other people. Like, Aaliyah was like the sacrificial lamb for all that, 'cause she didn't deserve none of that," said Dash.

Dash went on to explain that Aaliyah had a good soul and, despite everything that happened between her and Kelly, she wasn't resentful, saying that her general attitude was to "let that man live, but just keep him the f*** away from me." Dash shared that Aaliyah, "was just happy to be away."

While Aaliyah and Kelly never addressed reports about the nature of their relationship, Dash claims to know "the whole story" and revealed that Aaliyah wanted nothing to do with Kelly following their annulment in 1995.

"I know the whole story, you know what I'm saying? I know it was to cover up and all of that,” said Dash. “But how did that cover it up? It just made the conversation less crazy. 'Oh, he married a child?' That was a headline. That was, like, a rumor. That was something talked about like it was normal."

Dash then expressed that the conversation should have been how "disgusting" it was to marry "a 13-year-old." When the producer corrected Dash, saying that Aaliyah was 15, not 13, Dash stated, "I don't have to be accurate 'cause I don't care. It's 15, 13. Anything under 18 is disgusting. You know what I mean? She was a child, bro."

Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning airs across three nights beginning January 2 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

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