The Destiny's Child manager said the teens never left his sight when they were with the R'n'B singer
Beyoncé's father and Destiny's Child manager, Mathew Knowles, has revealed the girls 'did not leave our eyes' when they were around controversial singer R. Kelly. In the wake of new scrutiny about the 1990s star following a recent Lifetime documentary, Knowles has also revealed he passed on a collaboration with the group at the Bump N' Grind singer.
Mathew Knowles managed his daughter's band, Destiny's Child
Speaking to metro.co.uk, the 67-year-old said when Destiny's Child first met with Kelly, they were around 15 and 16-years-old.
He explained that Kelly liked to do his recording sessions around midnight and next to a club.
The music manager said: "I was there and my former wife Tina was there. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.
"The thing with R. Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight.
"And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing."
Knowles said he passed on a collaboration between a then-established R. Kelly - who had hits including 1996's I Believe I Can Fly - and his up-and-coming group due to both business and creative differences.
Of the track, which would have been on the group's self-titled debut album featuring Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and then-members LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett, Knowles said: "I personally rejected the song, because I didn't think it was a good song.
"Not just because of [his] reputation - this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things."
Between R. Kelly's reputation and the business differences, Mathew said 'it was both of those' factors that put him off of using his artists to collaborate with him.
An insider corroborated Mathew's account with the outlet and said: "Record labels would ask R. Kelly to write songs for emerging artists as a way to help them break into the industry and he made several requests for Destiny’s Child.
"Mathew and Tina rejected all of them because they didn’t want him anywhere near the band which is why they are one of the few acts to debut in the 90s without an R. Kelly song in its official discography."
Knowles' remarks come after R. Kelly, 52, has fallen under new scrutiny in the wake of the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly.
The Ignition vocalist has denied allegations of sexual misconduct, which include keeping women in a cult and sexual relations with girls around the age of 14.
The Grammy-winning artist was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 in Cook County, Illinois stemming from a video which authorities said depicted him in sexual acts with a girl who looked to be 13; the singer and his alleged partner in the clip said it was not them.