Iyanla Vanzant says she shut R. Kelly down after singer allegedly asked to appear on 'Fix My Life'

Mary Scott
Jan 14, 2019
07:43 A.M.
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Amidst R. Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse scandal, Iyanla Vanzant has opened up on how and why she turned down the singer from her Oprah Winfrey Network series, “Iyanla: Fix My Life.”


Popular motivational speaker and life coach, Vanzant, is known for helping many celebrities navigate the process of psychological healing, but when Kelly reached out to her, Vanzant said she had to decline.

Speaking on ABC News, Vanzant told the host Kelly wanted to be on her show long before the broadcast of the explosive docuseries -- “Surviving R. Kelly” -- that rehashed details of his alleged sexually abusive and pedophilic behavior towards women and underage girls.

“He didn't meet one of the criteria that we had for guests,” Vanzant said, pausing discussing her show’s upcoming season six.


She continued:

“Are they willing? Are they ready? Do they have the capacity to do the work? He didn't have it, the emotional capacity. He just didn’t have it, and I knew, based on what I was looking at -- the paces I would have had to take him though -- it would have been brutal. He didn’t have the capacity because he hasn’t done the work.”

Vanzant, 65, admitted that the accusations leveled against the singer were not justifiable, but also noted that sending him to jail was not an appropriate solution.

“I would never, ever condone or justify anything that he’s been accused of doing, but locking him up in jail is not the answer,” she said. “He’s sick ... Just like the people he allegedly committed these acts with -- they’re sick. This needs to be massive healing -- them, him all of them.”


The TV personality added:

“But I do know, without some long-term intervention, he doesn’t have the capacity. Just wouldn’t be able to hear it, receive it. Classic thing is that he's not telling the truth about it.”

Vanzant also asked people to stop asking her to step in and help with healing for the “Surviving R. Kelly” victims.

“There’s no fix other than them doing their healing where they get to the place where they can recapture their worth, their innocence, their dignity; to the point where they can forgive. They ain’t there yet,” she said.


The “Lifetime” docu-series, “Surviving R. Kelly” sparked renewed interest in allegations of sexual abuse behavior by the R&B singer. It features interviews with several past victims including his ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly.

Last month, a screening of the docuseries was interrupted after an anonymous person called and threatened to open fire. Drea, at the time, was convinced that Kelly, 52, or someone connected to him was behind the threat.

Several celebrities, including Lady Gaga and John Legend, have also openly condemned the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer who reportedly suffered panic attacks after watching the explosive docuseries.


Most recently, an old video had resurfaced which proves that Kelly knew the late Aaliyah was only 15 in 1994 when he married her.

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