It’s been 15 years since the Princess of R&B, Aaliyah, unexpectedly died in a plane crash. However, when it comes to dealing with the loss of the “Try Again” singer, Damon Dash, who was in a relationship with Aaliyah at the time of the tragedy says he’s still harboring guilt.
“There is no chance that, if I was there, we would have been on that plane,” Dash told “The Real” host Jeannie Mai, who asked if there was a possibility that he could’ve been on the ill-fated aircraft. “So it would have never happened that way.” In case you missed it, during an April 19 appearance on VH1’s reality show “Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn,” Dash revealed that Aaliyah’s 2001 death turned him into “a monster.”
The Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder went on to explain that he warned the Romeo Must Die actress against going to the Bahamas, where she filmed the video for her sexy track “Rock the Boat.” Adding that Aaliyah also had reservations about traveling to the tropical locale.
“She told me she was going to the Bahamas, and I was against it, like, ‘Yo, don’t go.’ And then down to the last — we had the BlackBerry — down to the last BlackBerry that we had, before she went there, she was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like that plane,’ ” Dash recalled on “The Real.” “And I was like, ‘Don’t get on it.’ And she was just like, ‘You know, I gotta do it.’ You know, it was a complicated situation, but she had to go do that video.”
The 44-year-old continued, “If I was there, I would have made sure that that jet that was supposed to be for her … she would have been on that,” he said. “I wouldn’t have got on that plane, you know what I’m saying? So it probably would have been different. But you know, everything happens for a reason. You know, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and you just gotta deal with the cards that life deals you.”
The iconic singer wrapped shooting for “Rock the Boat” early and decided to leave the Abaco Islands one day ahead of schedule. Instead of utilizing the G5 the singer and her crew originally intended to use to return to the States, they opted to take a smaller jet — a choice that led to the death of one of the music industry’s biggest stars.
While Dash later went on to marry (and then divorce) fashion designer Rachel Roy, with whom he shares daughters Ava, 16, and Tallulah, 7, his interview highlights the guilt many carry following the loss of a loved one, even when the situation is out of their hands. Although it isn’t uncommon to play the “What if?” game and to have survivor’s guilt, we hope that Dash’s recent realization will allow him to move forward.