Over the past 25 years, multiple women have accused singer R. Kelly of sexual, mental and physical abuse. The singer was charged with child pornography in 2000, and in recent years of holding women against their will in a “sex cult.” While Kelly was acquitted of the child-pornography charges and has never been convicted of any such crimes, the accusations continue.
The Lifetime network has collected multiple accusers in “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-hour docuseries will air in three installments: Thursday, January 3rd at 9 p.m. ET/PT; Friday, January 4th at 9 p.m. ET/PT; and Saturday, January 5th at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The clips, done in a characteristic docuseries style, contrast differences in R. Kelly’s personas.
“There’s a difference between R. Kelly and Robert. R. Kelly’s this fun, laughing, loving guy,” one woman says. “But Robert…is the devil.”
The project includes over 50 interviews, featuring R&B singer Sparkle, (a former Kelly protégé) , John Legend, talk show host Wendy Williams and civil rights activist Tarana Burke. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones and brothers Carey and Bruce were also interviewed for the documentary.
“What we’ve seen—in the last year in particular—is the tremendous power of women’s voices when given the opportunity to share their truth,” said Brie Miranda Bryant, senior vice president of unscripted development and programming, Lifetime. “But there are important stories still untold, stories of bravery, resilience and defiance that demand to be heard. This is one of those stories.”
The documentary series and movie are executive produced by Joel Karsberg and Jesse Daniels of Kreativ Inc., which, as part of their production deal, is backed exclusively by Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP). dream hampton is an executive producer on the documentary series, along with Brie Miranda Bryant from Lifetime. Ilene Kahn Power serves as an executive producer on the movie and Barbara Marshall will write the script.
The projects are part of Lifetime’s re-launched Stop Violence Against Women campaign, in which the network is partnering with organizations to spread awareness, empower women, provide healing tools and support for women in need of assistance. The initiative will also include educational resources and outreach to young women in high schools and colleges nationwide so young women have tools to discuss and address the ways these issues affect their lives, particularly for women of color.