R. Kelly has been accused of sexual assault for decades.
Now, multiple people have joined forces to detail the alleged abuse in a new trailer for the upcoming documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly.”
New reports claimed that the premiere of Lifetime docu-series brought in historically high ratings. Nearly two million people tuned in Thursday (January 3) to watch the series.
According to Deadline, the premiere of Lifetime’s much-talked-about docuseries Surviving R. Kelly drew 1.9 million total viewers Thursday night, marking Lifetime’s best performance in more than two years in all key demos, and amid a flurry of attention on social media. The docuseries drew 1.2 million among adults 25-54, 1.1 million adults 18-49, 837,000 women 25-54 and 767,000 women 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. The docuseries also ranked as Lifetime’s best unscripted performance in more than three years in all key demos.
In the six-hour Lifetime docuseries, which traces the vocalist’s childhood to present day, several accusers discuss their relationships with the R&B singer, including his ex-wife Andrea Kelly, who recently spoke out about the abuse she said she endured during her 13-year marriage to him.
R. Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, R&B singer Sparkle and a host of other women also speak out in the movie.
“There’s a difference between R. Kelly and Robert. R. Kelly’s this fun, laughing, loving guy,” one woman narrates in the clip. “But Robert…is the devil.”
The Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which chronicles decades of the singer’s alleged sexual misconduct, has sparked debate, including among celebrities.
The six-part documentary contains more than 50 interviews. It features testimony from women who accuse Kelly of mental, physical and sexual abuse, as well as interviews with associates and relatives of the singer, including his brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly. Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, and singer John Legend also provided commentary.
Chance the Rapper, who collaborated with Kelly on the 2015 song “Somewhere in Paradise,” also issued an apology Saturday for doing so.
“The truth is, any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
“I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out,” the “No Problem” rapper added.
R. Kelly, 51, has consistently denied the allegations against him. According to TMZ, the “World’s Greatest” singer did not watch the show, but is “disgusted” and plans to file lawsuits against anyone who took part in executive producer dream hampton’s creation, including Lifetime and the alleged survivors of his abuse.
In 2008, Kelly, was found not guilty of child pornography charges in connection with a sex tape that appeared to show him having sex with an under-age female and urinating in her mouth. The jury decided they could not be sure of the identity of the girl on the tape, who did not testify. He has not been charged in connection with any other allegation of sexual abuse.
The musician, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was accused of holding six women in a sex cult against their free will in 2017, which he has denied.
The backlash against R. Kelly over allegations that he has kept women imprisoned in an abusive sex cult swelled last year, culminating in Spotify’s decision to remove his music from its streaming service as part of a new “hateful conduct” policy. That policy was reversed in less than a month, but that didn’t stop the #MuteRKelly movement from continuing to speak out against the R&B singer.