Hi, this is Hillary Clinton, host of the new podcast, You and Me both, there's a lot to be anxious and worried about right now, and it's made so much worse by the fact that we can't be together. So I find myself on the phone a lot, talking with friends, experts, really anyone who can help make some sense of these challenging times. These conversations have been a lifeline for me.
And now I hope they will be for you to please listen to you and me both starting September 29th on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, I'm David Plouffe. And I'm Steve Schmidt. We're the host of Battleground, a new podcast from the recount. In 2008, I ran Senator John McCain's campaign for President David and Senator Obama's in battleground.
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Hello, RTT family. This is a special edition of Red Table Talk, and like many of you will go me myself of we watch Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime.
And I called my producer and I said, we have to do a red table.
Talk about this right away. It's been hard for us to think about anything else. And if you haven't seen the docu series, please take a look at this trailer. There is a difference between killing Robert. All right. Was this fun, laughing, loving guy, but Robert. Is the deal is the deal, is that R. Kelly is at the top of the charts, but he may be in for a fall. He was arrested today on 21 counts of child pornography.
Kelly is accused of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl.
Taking advantage of minors will not be tolerated. Jurors found him not guilty on all charges with R. Kelly's acquittal in 2008, the women he allegedly abused continued to be ignored. But in lifetime surviving R. Kelly, dozens of women came forward to tell stories of horrific sexual and emotional abuse. And this time millions of people are listening. God, I can't take another day.
I can't do one. Of our Kelly's hidden relationships was with our beloved Alicia Normanby, singer, who he met when she was just 12. He was 24, is secretly married when she was only 15. Documents were forced to say she was 18. Reaction to the show has been explosive.
Many supporting the women and many viciously attacking them have never introduced her to them to do them.
And so one of the survivors, Lisa Van Allen, is going to join us in a minute.
It's a tough one. I thought it was really important to watch it as mother and daughter. And then I was calling you like you, you know. But I have to tell you, I felt a lot of things. I had a lot of feelings about it. One being I was like, man, how complicit we all have been. That really broke my heart, like to really think about we we ignored it.
I think that's been very heartbreaking for me, just how harsh the reactions have been. And specifically, I've seen black women being very harsh towards the survivors, the survivors. I don't know how we can expect to point fingers at other communities that might come in and violate us. We go out in March and we do all these things, but then we're not willing to look at ourselves and we're not willing to protect our own.
We have to start examining the self-hatred. Let's just talk about children who have been raped and molested, OK? And how the reaction has been, you know, things like they were just hot as little girls didn't have no business. They just gold diggers. Those kinds of reactions shut people down.
People who are in your home. Right. You feel me? Yeah. So I look at this as like a lot of times the abuse is coming from my family member, somebody close to the family, a close family friend. Let me tell you, out of the people that I know, I've never heard once that it was a stranger. Wow. I remember he was himself a victim of abuse. And let me tell you something.
And so if you don't protect your children and give them the freedom to to to talk to them, this is what you create.
So a lot of people are talking about we got to protect our girls, but we have to protect our sons as well. We have to protect our children. But I think that psychological manipulation that the women went through is really, really hard for people to understand, because when I first heard about some of the women that were held captive, I just felt like, well, they're adults and, you know, they should just leave. Just leave. But it's that mental and emotional prison, but is trying to really understand that psychological manipulation that goes on for you.
And I guess if we think about it like this, you and I both have been in some relationships that we knew we shouldn't have been right, but we kept going back. So put put one hundred on that. Right. If you really think about it that way, you can get it. Not so that I can get it, but just the degree of nothing that we went through even compared. So I'll tell you, one of the honey traps for me, the cycle where it's the you have somebody that breaks you down and then comes back to you and they're like, I can't live without you.
I can't believe, you know, my everything. And then the endorphins in my mind and those highs and lows and even just being addicted to that cycle.
Yeah, I've been there. I've been addicted to that cycle of knowing that this person is not treating me well.
But then you get so low and then he comes in with his sweetness and you're like, oh, I never feel good for you.
Well, maybe it's just me, you know, I just never go away from me. I was just being stupid. And the idea of having having a, you know, a superstar point, you know, where most of us come from, backgrounds where we feel neglected, we feel like we haven't been loved.
And so their self-worth comes from that attention and then just the cycle of terror.
And I have to say that I feel some kind of way about all these people that were around him that were just complicit and assisting. I mean, yes, men. Yeah, but it's, you know, back in the day, let me tell you something, the the black community was not built like that. You know, like you could like if somebody was acting up in the neighborhood, you could count on Miss Betty down the street. She won't tell your mama the guys.
They protected their neighborhood. They protected the the girls growing up in the neighborhood.
And I really felt like it was important that Willow and I watch together because I felt like it was a teachable moment.
Yeah, exactly. What was it about it that was. And for you and I to watch it together, what made me start crying was I had listened to Aleah and had I had known about R. Kelly and listened to his music when I was super young. And it was it's so strange because I had an inkling that he was slightly suss, but I never like it just hit me so hard when I was watching it, like, oh my God.
Like I was listening to this when I was a kid, like and then seeing him in the back of aging nothing but a no album cover I had. It was like much like something from my childhood was just debased, like like why is he just in the back of the album cover. Just lurking. That's weird. Like and we just like oh nice. But like it slipped under my radar. When will did that bungee jump we put.
I believe I can fly. Oh yeah. And man wow.
That just goes to show you. I didn't think that either. But see that's how things will fly. But I didn't like. Was it on the line. We it was on Instagram. On Instagram and but see how it you forget. Right. But that's how we are all complicit because guess what. How can you forget. Yeah. Right, right, right. How can you forget and be so unaware.
You can't forget. And you know, that's why we should have all been screaming from the roof. Yes. What's going on with the silly thing. Exactly. The black community. What's going on? But here's the other conflict. We have such a conflicted relationship to the law, to the media, to feeling as though authority is attacking our men, which they have, and they still do. You know what was deep, that juror on Lifetime, on the on the juror that was like I didn't like how they were dressed and I just didn't like them.
I just didn't believe them. Well, I know it seems ridiculous the way that's the way I did. Didn't like them. I voted again. I disregarded all what they said.
If I asked you what you liked, you look at the evidence. Exactly. If you're like me, you probably start thinking about what to eat for dinner while you're eating lunch. I love food. That's why I love using post meat. But I kind of love them even more right now because I can get food delivered without leaving the house or even opening the door, given what's going on in the world. They created noncontact delivery. So now when I order from local restaurants, everything gets left right outside my door.
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Now I'm your host, Brit Moore, and I'm an entrepreneur, a CEO and a mom. And I'm curious about a lot of things, but how do you learn about everything? The answer, make the world's best experts teach you.
This show is about inspirational thinkers, scientists and artists who are passing their expertise onto us in less than an hour. We've already learned about so much together and I cannot wait for what's next. My co-host, investee and I are back with brand new episodes every Wednesday. First up is Glenn and Doyle, activist and bestselling author of the hit book Untamed. She's teaching us how to embrace our most authentic selves. Listen to teach me something new on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.
All right, we have a very special guest today, Lisa Van Alan Lisa met R. Kelly at a music video shoot in Atlanta at the tender age of 17. I'd heard about Rob's reputation, about him dating earlier, but I didn't assume that he liked younger girls. I just thought at that moment I just thought he liked me. I knew he was at least 31.
So I thought when I said 17 that he'd be like, you know, like that was going to be the deal breaker.
But it wasn't pretty early on, he kind of introduced you to everything that he was into it the first time Robert had me do sexual acts with him and another female, he actually told me it was going to be his first time and he wanted to do it with me. Robert Wood film our sex acts sometimes he would never ask me if it was OK to be filmed, but he never hid the camera or anything like that.
Once we did the threesome, it became more frequent. Then he started introducing me to other young women. Most of the threesomes were with a 14 year old girl who Lisa thought was 16. One of the tapes became key evidence in Robert's 2008 trial. Lisa testified against him, but he was acquitted. Still, she was determined that her story would be heard and surviving. R. Kelly finally has people listening. There she is.
Nice to meet you. So nice. We're so happy to have you here. Yeah, we really are happy to be here and yes, welcome. Come on. Yeah, come on, let's sit down. How are you feeling today?
You look beautiful. I really do. Since the Diagne series tell you, like, it's been so explosive and in great ways and then not so great ways.
Right. Right. I feel I feel blessed. Like I feel like we didn't expect it to be this powerful, this impactful. Like because, you know, I came out in 2008 and nobody heard me. Yes.
So do you feel like a relief, like a weight off your shoulders?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
It's just it's awesome to be heard. Yes. And I'm so happy that you guys could be brave enough to do it this way. And then Lifetime is brave enough and that, you know, because you guys deserve it. Yes. And I am just so. Sorry you didn't get it sooner. I'm not sure. I'm like, oh, I love this table. Talk is so real and raw. And before this even the show even aired or anything I've been saying, I want to talk to Jane.
I know she'll understand. Yeah, I want to talk. Yeah. So it's just a blessing to be here and be able to talk to you guys. And I mean, the world the reaction has been so different this time around. Yeah. You know what it means. I mean, I feel I feel blessed and I feel like I'm a vessel, you know what I mean? To speak out for the young girls. Because, I mean, we've always been told, you know, you don't talk about that.
You don't do business, you know, like tell our business, you know, like even my mom had a hard time dealing with this. You know what I mean? Because, you know, because we have to really deal with ourselves.
You know, her reaction on how she felt about her role. You know, my role.
You know, everybody has their own things to deal with. I had to do it for me. Yeah.
For other young girls. Yes. Right. I mean, like, someone has to have that conversation that nobody wants to have. Yeah.
Like, you can't worry about how you look. Yeah. You know what I mean. We got to put it on the line. Yeah. Put it out there. Yeah. That's what I felt like I did. You have you realize there was a me before me to. Right. Because in 2008 there weren't any movement. That's right. No nobody else was talking about it. Yeah.
So and I came out, you know, hoping that I could help the victims and the go girl on the tape, you know what I mean? Because I knew her family wasn't going to speak. Right. So I felt like somebody has to stand up like somebody. I mean, they threatened my life. You know, I lost a lot I was dealing with was pregnant. But, you know, you can't let that stop stop you. And you're right.
People need to remember that. Lisa, you were a child on that tape.
And I think people exactly got that twisted idea that they kept. Those were two minors.
Exactly. When he first told me he had never had a threesome. And I felt like I needed to do that for him because we were together and I was living with him and and I did it. And then he wanted another one and another one. Then that's when it was like lie. Like, I may have been tricked here. When I started noticing that he was a liar and a manipulator was when I found out the girl was younger.
And I'm like, well, why would you why would you do that?
You know, I wouldn't you know, right then things like that are when I started really questioning him because the threesomes, even though I didn't want them and I didn't like them because he wanted him, I would back then I would have done them. Yeah, you know what I mean? And I hate to say that I'm not saying with a young girl because I would not have, but I would have cried and, you know, back there just because he wanted to do them.
And that's sad, too. I have a thing now that I say to young girls or girls in general, love yourself first.
Yes. Because that was the problem. Yeah. I was with his feelings before mine that I didn't care, that it bothered me. I didn't care that I cried and I was upset and that I had to share someone I loved with other women.
I wanted him to be happy. So I would I would say that I tell my daughter that love yourself first. Yeah.
And, you know, we all we all go through that in different levels.
He's a master manipulator. Yeah. He says what he needs to say to get what he needs done. Yeah. Yeah. He knew my whole background.
He knew that I was in foster care. He knew that I was adopted with a single. My mom. My adoptive mother thinks so.
Wait a minute. Pause right there. Yeah. Didn't know that part. You were in foster care. Yes.
Until six. Wow. He knew all about that. So you were in foster care until you were six and then you were adopted. Right. And did you see any abuse while you were in foster care? He knew that as well. Got it. Yeah. God, I think.
Do you think in any way he tried to push on those buttons for you, like try to bring back those emotions and that insecurity?
He would do things like he'll ask you, what about you? Would you like to change? Yeah. And then he'll pretend like he's the knight in shining armor. It's going to fix that for you. Right. Or if you got in trouble for something or one time, I had a situation where I was allowed to go home and I got into it with some girls. I had a case. Right. He made it go away. So you get what I mean.
So am I at the time. Yeah. You got to take me. I take care of you. You take care of me. What was that moment when you thought to yourself enough?
There were a lot of times where I came and went because, you know, with abusive situations, you leave and go back to leave and go back. Oh, yeah. So I did a lot of that.
But personally, once I got to the point where it was just like sickening, like kind of like just dealing with him or being around him and seeing that the girls were still 19 and 20 year. And your late 40s, almost, you know, it was sickening. Over time, it got worse and worse and worse, and I got older and mature and I knew more about him and more about and he didn't want help.
That's the thing. Like in the beginning, people say, well, once you found out she was 14, why didn't you turn them in? Because I left him. Yeah, I wanted to help him get better because that's how we work. As far as loved as real time. That's real talk. Yes. I love to try and figure out how to help you and what I can do to save you. Right. And then once I realized he couldn't be saved, he didn't want to be saved, he would tell me things like, my mama told me, if you love a man, you don't try to change him.
You know, the older I got, the more it's like, boy, this symbol. Right. Just you just messed up. Right. So once you realize that. Yeah, you're a part of that, you know, and it's not OK, but it's not acceptable. And I had a I had me a daughter and I didn't want her around town, you know what I mean?
I'm like, hi, this is Melanne Verveer and this is Kim Mazzarelli and we're co-hosts of Senecas Conversations on Power and Purpose, brought to you by the Seneca Women Podcast's Network and I Heart Radio.
We're launching a brand new season of this podcast, which brings you fascinating conversations with leaders like two time gold medalist, author and activist Abby Wambach and actor, producer and entrepreneur Justin Baldoni, among many others. Listen to Senecas conversations on power and purpose on the radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
This is the Secret Syllabus podcast. I remember the good old times when I was a college student and then 20/20 hit. Hi, I'm Hannah Ashton, and I'm Katy Tracy. We're here to fill in everything they missed in our college curriculum, just like you were confronting the unknown.
And if we're being honest, we need all the advice we can get.
Listen to the secret syllabus on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast. See you after class. You know, because at first, you know, I wanted to be with this man, you know, like, but I can't I can't be with nobody like that, like I can't trust you around my child right now.
But you wants the back. That I actually been with her in a relationship briefly, OK.
And he was abusive. He but he was abusive, like beating me up my dad. I had to get away and I didn't have anyone to call. So remember that night in shining armor. Yeah.
Come on to Chicago. They got me there. Then he thought that I think he thought she was his because he wanted me to do a paternity test. I guess he thought because I had an abortion with his first baby that I ran away when I got pregnant the second time to have a baby. But it wasn't that, you know, but that's just what he thought because he's thinking there's no way she got pregnant by someone else. Right. Right.
Like that. But, you know, so I went there and my big issue with him was the fact that he like young girls, but he specifically kept telling me to buy my daughter dresses every time I would put her in, like leggings and things like that. And we'd be sitting in the studio, she'd be on my lap and he'd be like, Why are you going to go get her dress? Give me every time he give me three hundred dollars for a dress.
And I'm like, am I?
Why does he care? That's not his kid. Why does he keep one?
So I just I could just my instinct was like, say this. I'm not feeling it like I didn't get it.
That is a really interesting to know in regards to the history of your own abuse and how it started so young and how it seemed as though the cycle kind of continued and as we were talking about before, the necessity to be able to tell someone be believed, you know what I mean, in order to stop the cycle.
And I never told anyone until I got with him. He's the first person I told about my abuse. Wow. Like my my dad. Your dad never knew. I mean, we had this thing in her bathroom. She would keep magazines in the bathroom with pictures. And I would flip all her magazines over because I didn't want the faces looking at me because one of my abuser would come in the bathroom while I was in there.
So mentally, she was like, why does she keep my I'll keep flipping my magazines over it. But she never could figure out that mentally.
For me as a kid, it was like I felt like they were kind of want to was. So it was crazy. It's just crazy how things happen to you and you take it with you. And I understand like you can a situation can end, but you take that with you. Absolutely. Yeah. Piece of all of your things you've been through in life. Go with you. Yeah.
So, yeah. Have you ever gotten professional help. Never.
I was more worried about everybody else as I always am. I like I still feel like I just need to help and I still talking to the women, the other women.
He has abused me and has helped me a lot. I talk to them and I love it because we don't have to convince each other.
Yeah, I mean, you get it, you know. Yes. Or, you know, like me and his ex wife.
Do you write everything? Like, I'll tell her something and she'll say, that's why, like, I gave her a lot of aha moment.
That's good. When it when it is someone being really cut through, that's usually a woman.
And I mean they there are some really mean ones out there, you know what I mean. But I take it as they just don't know or you just don't want to know because there's enough information out there to know about this. Right. I mean, like Cook County Courthouse Public records. Yeah. Pull up case after case that he's paid off. You don't pay off people when you're innocent. You know what I mean? Why. Right. Why would you going back to this self-love?
I do believe that within us sometimes that self-hatred explodes and we projected on other people. Right. What were those conversations that you had with your mother? Like. Yeah, yeah.
The ones with my my mom. We really haven't had many, to be honest.
And the reason why I think is because she didn't want to deal with her guilt.
Like our conversations actually have just started, like after all of this. And she cried and I cried and I told her I don't blame her. Right. And the reason why I don't blame her is because when he asked me the night he met me in the at the video, she asked me how old I was. I said seventeen. He said, Well, your mama let you come to Chicago.
I didn't call her right on the phone at the video. She can ask, can can I go? I just told them yes because I was going. Right. That's what I'm saying. Yeah, I know. It wasn't, you know. Right. And I knew everything. Yeah.
So it really I don't want it the blame to be on her because either way go. He was booking my flight. Yeah. Giving me money. I would have found a way to get there. He. Has people that worked for him to make absolutely right, so, you know, a lot of people don't understand that either, but then they'll say, well, where was your mother? But they don't ask the same questions for him.
Well, why not ask me what happened to his mom when he got abused by his family members? And with us women, you know, they tear us all the way. Yeah, you know what I mean?
Well, you know, it's as if we have to take on everybody's morality. You know, people specifically men don't have to be responsible for their own actions. People find a way to look at us and make it our fault, you know, or our responsibility.
Did he share with you his story of abuse to help like the real you is? See, that's the thing.
I know all about him and everything like the dirty dirt, right? All of that. He's told me all his personal problems and turmoils. And and that's part of it because and he did that.
I felt like, you know, I can tell him what I've been through and let my guard down. Yeah.
He had a thing called pins, pins and eyeballs. No matter if they stick pins in your eyeballs, you don't talk about what we do, what we got going on. And he said he had that pact with the leader as well. Wow.
And she didn't talk on our next red table talk that you have. Your year old never talked about this. Hayati family joined the red tabletop group on Facebook and become part of the conversation to join the red table, talk family and become a part of the conversation, follow us at Facebook.
Dot com slash red tabletop. Thanks for listening to this episode of Red Tablecloth podcast produced by Facebook Watch Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio.
Hi, this is Melanne Verveer and this is Kim Mazzarelli.
We are co-authors of the book Fast Forward How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose and where co-hosts of Senecas Conversations on Power and Purpose brought to you by the Seneca Women Podcast Network and I Heart Radio for launching a brand new season of this podcast, which brings you fascinating conversations with leaders who are using their power for purpose to accelerate progress for women while building a better world. We're kicking it off with a special six part series called Getting to Equal. These episodes will feature conversations with leaders like two time gold medalist, author and activist Abby Wambach, spoken word poet, author and podcast, her Amena Brown and actor, producer and entrepreneur Justin Baldoni, among many others.
And we'll tackle topics ranging from women's leadership to equality in the home to the role of men in achieving gender equality and much more so join us every week for a new season of Senecas Conversations on Power and Purpose. Listen to Senecas conversations on power and purpose on the Internet radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast.
This is the Secret Syllabus podcast. I am a YouTube and a student at Belmont University. I'm a YouTube and an international student at Cornell University and probably just like you. I remember the good old times when I was a college student and then 20/20 hit.
How am I supposed to make friends while staying six feet apart? What will happen to the parties and tailgates? What about my college?
What will I just be sent home again and again and again?
So that's where the secret syllabus comes in. Hi, I'm Hannah Ashton. And I'm Katie Tracy.
We're here to fill in everything they missed in our college curriculum, just like you were confronting the unknown both as college students and content creators. And if we're being honest, we need all the advice we can get.
Listen to the secret syllabus on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
No prerequisites necessary. See after class.