“Lizzette Martinez’s story embodies the fire energy that gives light and life to survivors all around her! Survivors need to see strength and perseverance despite opposition, and Lizzette models just that.” – Melissa Schuman, actress and singer
In January of 1995, 17-year-old Lizzette Martinez met Grammy-winning musician and record producer R. KELLY at Aventura Mall in Florida where he was performing. At first, it seemed that her hopes of becoming a professional singer were about to come true when he offered to help boost her career. However, this mentorship quickly turned into sexual grooming, leading to years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
After struggling to free herself of the relationship and rebuild on her own, Lizzette’s successful new life, far away from the entertainment industry, was interrupted in 2017 by allegations against R. Kelly by other women. This led her to come forward to the authorities with her own history of abuse by the music icon.
In January 2019, she participated with other survivors in a documentary series with Lifetime called “Surviving R. Kelly.” It should have been a healing experience but instead left them feeling abandoned and fearful for their lives.
In August 2021, Kelly went on trial in New York on racketeering and sex trafficking charges and was found guilty of all charges.
In JANE DOE #9 by Lizzette Martinez and Keelin MacGregor, readers get a no-holds-barred look at Martinez’s relationship with Kelly, her efforts to break free and pursue her dreams, and courage to take on her abuser and seek justice.
“Lizzette has been very courageous and persistent in her battle to make sure that R. Kelly was held accountable. I am honored to represent her.” – Gloria Allred, women’s rights attorney and National Women’s Hall Of Fame inductee
“In twenty-one years of reporting on R. Kelly abusing his wealth and fame to prey on so many girls and young women—and it was their bravery in speaking out that finally stopped the worst predator in the history of popular music—Lizzette Martinez has always struck me as one of the strongest and most courageous. I could not admire her more, and I am eager indeed to read her story in her own words. She is an inspiration.” – Jim DeRogatis, music critic, journalist, and author of Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly
From The Book:
Staring out the thick glass windowpane of the hotel, I imagine what it would be like to fall through, to step into the air away from heartache, disappear from all this trouble. Would my soul drift up into the sky so I could look down one more time on the lights reflecting off Lake Michigan?
What about your unborn baby?
Hot tears crowd my eyes as I press my hands against the chilled glass, almost wishing it would give in and let me go. I start pacing around the small suite to distract my mind. There’s plenty of room to move around. Rob can afford all this, provide all this, but he’s not here now, when it’s so important.
Warmth spreads along my leg and I glance down at jeans blotched wet and dark. Shit. Where is he? Dropping to the floor, I’m hunting for the previously thrown Nokia when the room phone interrupts my search. Scrambling, I pull it down beside me as the cramps double me over again. Knees buckled under, my forehead rests against soft carpet.
“Hello, this is the front desk calling. We have a message for R. Kelly.”
“Wait, he’s not even here. You don’t mean a message from R. Kelly?”
Second flying phone of the night. Christ. I call my best friend Michella on the block of a cell phone I finally located. Peeling off the damp pants, I drag myself to the shower to rinse off the blood. Red swirls down the drain in a sickening spiral.
“Go back to the hospital!” Michella’s voice is frantic and loud in my ear. “Now! Lizzette, you have to listen to me.”
“He’s not here… can’t take me…” My head is heavy. Hard to hold up. “Nobody is here. Not allowed to leave on my own. Is… is against the rules.” My best friend is cursing up a storm, but it’s a distant drone. Everything is running together. Words and surroundings drip over each other like fresh paint in the rain. I can’t pick anything apart. No idea what she’s saying. Can’t remember what I was doing.
Another spike of pain pulls my knees tight to my chest, phone forgotten on the cold tiles. How many days has he been gone? I can’t remember. The doctor said cramps were normal. This should be normal then. No need to worry. It seems like a lot of blood for normal. But he said, the doctor said the baby would be fine, even with the unusual cramping, that I just needed rest. See, Lizzette? Just rest. It will help. That’s what I whisper to myself as my vision turns fuzzy and black creeps at the edges. Rest. Normal… I slip into darkness.
Lizzette, reading your book was absolutely gut reaching. My heart broke for you over and over as I read on. At times I put the book down trying to wrap my head around what this man was doing and getting away with, everyone covering for him. People hear and read about these things and say how terrible what an awful person but when I read this it was about a young Lizzette that I knew as a teenager in Florida, who was friends with my daughter in high school and had been in my home. I remember you well. You were a beautiful young lady and are now a beautiful adult, with more courage than anyone I know.
Keep up the good work, you now have the power !! It is now your time to live and heal
Lots of love
Mrs. Martinez. I’m so sorry for the pain and trouble my fellow Chicagoan had put you through. I’m so surprised during these times I have been a heavy fan of his music until that documentary in 2019. Mrs. Martinez, remember that you are humble and you are a rebel in the making. Don’t stick with the past, be able to take the present and prepare for the future. I have the similar experiences, but just remember, madam, I love you. You’re an incredible woman.