Lifetime Refuses to Cancel Its R. Kelly Documentary Despite Aggressive Litigation, Sabotage Attempts

Despite sabotage attempts and even lawsuit threats, Lifetime will still air Surviving R. Kelly.

Tonight, the Lifetime network will continue airing the three-part special, Surviving R. Kelly.  This comes amidst legal threats from the beleaguered singer.

The documentary tells the story of his alleged victims.  Stories of sexual abuse and harassment date back to the early 1990s.

The female victims – mostly in their teens and early 20s at the time – explicitly detail his alleged abuse.

Each victim discusses how R. Kelly first presented himself as a “charming and seductive suitor.”  As they formed a relationship with the singer, he soon transformed into a “controlling and abusive dominator.”

The series also explores the R&B singer’s background, including how he has successfully beaten each accuser in court.

Amidst the threat of legal action, a Lifetime representative said,

Lifetime has always been a brand that champions women’s stories.  The documentary will air as scheduled, starting tonight at 9 pm ET/PT.

Brian Nix, Kelly’s lawyer, sent the network a threat to file a lawsuit on January 3rd.

The artist reportedly has “2 audio recordings — 5 minutes in duration — that show Lifetime knew ‘some of the girls are lying, but that the budget was too high to turn back now.’”

A Lifetime representative denied seeing the letter or hearing the audio recordings.

During a private screening and public conversation about the series on December 4th, the venue received multiple anonymous phone calls.  The caller claimed someone had a firearm in the theater, leading to the venue’s evacuation.  Seven accusers featured in the film would’ve spoken about their experiences to a crowd.

Speaking about the forced evacuation and mysterious phone calls, Drea, Kelly’s ex-wife, said,

I do believe that in some shape, form or fashion [the gun threat] is connected to him.  Now, whether he orchestrated it or not, that I cannot say.  But I just don’t believe in coincidences.  Of all the theaters, of all the nights, of all the premiers, it happened with us.

She added,

I know some people might think a situation like being evacuated is the worst thing that could ever happen, but this is the best thing that could happen to us.  We are united and we’re not going anywhere.  That documentary was not done in vain.  And now people will want to know, “What was it they did not want to be seen?


Featured image in the Public Domain.