One of R. Kelly’s former girlfriends, Dominique Gardner, is speaking out publicly for the first time to share what it was like over the nine years she was with the Grammy Award winner, who is currently facing 10 aggravated sexual abuse charges.
In the documentary, we saw Dominique’s mother, Michelle Kramer, track her down to a Los Angeles hotel and eventually convinced her to leave. She ended up going back to R. Kelly and stayed with him an extra two weeks before leaving him for good.
Now during an interview with Chicago music journalist Jim DeRogatis for The New Yorker, Gardner is opening up about her relationship with the singer and the abuse she suffered while with him. Here’s 5 shocking things we learned.
She Didn’t Watch the LIFETIME series ‘Surviving R. Kelly’
“What’s the point of seeing it when I lived it?” she said. “People are using it as entertainment, when it wasn’t entertainment for me, you know?”
She Has Two Tattoos Of R. Kelly’s Face
While chatting with the reporter in a Chicago bar, Dominique revealed she has two tattoos of Kelly’s face on her body. One on her left leg and another on her rib cage.
Kelly Beat Her With Extension Cords and Ripped Out Her Hair
Gardner said that she was the “tomboy” among Kelly’s girlfriends, and the most rebellious. She often disobeyed him, and suffered what she called “consequences,” including spankings, slappings, beatings, and being hit with an extension cord. Once, after she threw a carrot at Kelly, “he grabbed me and he pulled my hair out, and I had, like, patches torn from my hair,” she said. The “consequences” came when Kelly “felt as [if] we disrespected him or disobeyed him. It’s like a parent when your children go against your word.”
She Doesn’t Regret Being With Kelly
“I loved him to death, you know what I’m sayin’? But he needs help. Who doesn’t need help?” I am not just about to spread lies about him,” she said—but she struggles to find a better way to describe a situation that, according to her, people don’t really understand, at least not the way she does. “I wouldn’t even say ‘mind games.’ It was just the fact that he tried to break me,” she said. “I couldn’t be broken. He wanted that control over me, and I wouldn’t give him that power. So, he figured, like, If I don’t give her food, she’ll come around. Nope. I’d rather die than come around and give you my soul.”
She Doesn’t Think Kelly Should Go To Jail
“At the end of the day, he’s a victim, too, because he went through some shit, and people—they don’t understand,” she said. “I feel like he should be on house arrest in a studio, because, like I said, his music makes him get through the situations, what’s he going through. Jail time, no. He needs to have a twenty-four-hour therapist at his house.” And, she added, he needs to be honest about his behavior. Here, she addressed the man whom she claims to still love. “You can stop the cycle,” she said. “Just be honest. People don’t want you in jail.”
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