The mask behind the mysterious pop/R&B artist/producer R. Kelly, has been lifted, and many women have been coming forward to discuss lurid tales that have seemed unimaginable. But in “Surviving R. Kelly,” a specific group of women emerged from the shadows and uniting their voices to share their stories. Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, R. Kelly’s genre defining career and playboy lifestyle has been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia. Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations have seemingly affected him. For the first time ever, survivors and people from R. Kelly’s inner circle, are coming forward with new allegations. They are now sharing their full story and shed light on the secret life the public has never seen.
With over 50 interviews including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk-show host and former DJ Wendy Williams, ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly, and many others, the true story of R. Kelly’s controversial past will be revealed beginning in 1970 through present day, shedding light on the R&B star whose history of alleged abuse of underage African American girls has, until recently, been largely ignored by mainstream media.
Surviving R. Kelly is executive produced by cultural critic, filmmaker and passionate activist dream hampton, Tamara Simmons, Joel Karlsberg and Jesse Daniels for Kreativ Inc. which has a production deal with Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP), and Brie Miranda Bryant from Lifetime. This program falls under Lifetime’s commitment to provide a platform to give women a voice where they have previously been unheard to bring awareness to the abuses and harassment of women.
Naturally, R. Kelly is upset over the documentary and reportedly had his legal team try to stop the documentary from airing, to no avail. The late Aaliyah, whom it has been said married her producer when she was his impressionable young protegee, is mentioned in the documentary as one of the backup singers confirms that she saw R. Kelly and the teenager recording artist having a romantic interlude on a tour bus. But Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, blasted the contents of the documentary in a statement: Haughton said, “the woman and so-called back up singer … that describes seeing, meeting or even breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar.
My daughter only wanted to realize her dream of sharing her talent with the world, and give her all performing on stage, and in front of the camera for the fans she adored so much. She realized that dream thanks to those true fans who still love and support her legacy unconditionally to this day. Shame on all those involved in this project who thought it kosher to drag Aaliyah’s name into a situation that has nothing to do with her today. Once again, this will not be tolerated.”
Although there are mixed feelings about the documentary, the network states that it “captivated audiences and commanded social conversation. Originally slated to air January 3-5, 2019, encore marathons of all six-hours of “Surviving R. Kelly” will air as follows:
Sunday, January 6 starting at 10am on Lifetime
Sunday, January 6 starting at 6pm on LMN
Friday, January 11 starting at 6pm on Lifetime WATCH IT AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!