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Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” Docuseries Drama Explained

Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” Docuseries Drama Explained

Photo Credit: Mike Pont | Getty Images

The controversial docuseries Surviving R. Kelly released tonight at 9pm which has been quite a hot topic. A few months ago word circulated about the three-night docuseries event focused on the R&B singer and his alleged sexual assault cases. Over 50 people from Kelly’s past or present life are featured in the series including John Legend, ex wife Andrea Kelly, and other women that have previously spoken out against the abuse. John Legend responded to his influx of mentions praising him for being so brave and not turning down the series’ interview. John chimed in on Twitter advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse.


There has been a lot of backlash toward the celebrities closely involved in Kelly’s life at any point in time for not commenting on the matter — stating the topic at hand was “too messy.” A few of the celebrities who were asked to speak on Kelly’s behalf include Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Dave Chappelle, and Questlove. The executive producer, Dream Hampton, interviewed with the Detroit Free Press and this is what he had to say about the celebrities refusing to get involved:

“I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it, I remember Ahmir [“Questlove” Thompson] was like, ‘I would do anything for you but I can’t do this.’ It’s not because they support him, it’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on.”

Questlove went on Twitter today to explain to his fans and the docuseries viewers exactly why he chose to decline the opportunity to speak out about what he experienced when affiliated with Kellz. These posts have since been deleted:

“I always thought Kels was trash. My reason for declining the RKelly docu that I support 10000000 percent is I didn’t wanna be in the ‘good times’ portion of the doc, like stanning for his ‘genius. “I was asked to talk about his genius. I do not nor have I EVER stanned for him”

In another tweet he elaborated on the subject:

 “Just wanna make that abundantly clear in a non ‘he doth protest too much’ way. That quote makes it look like I’m protecting him. I’m thinking ‘damn I don’t wanna be the one guy I always am in documentaries fawning over someone I detest.’ So make ZERO mistake on my positioning.”

Another huge topic surrounding Surviving R. Kelly is his curious relationship with R&B singer Aaliyah. The severity of their relationship had never been confirmed by either party which makes this allegation even more spicy — In an interview with Kelly’s old backup singer, Jovante Cunningham, she states that she was a witness to multiple sexual crimes committed by a 27 year old R. Kelly, and a then 15 year old Aaliyah. Cunningham stated that:

“We were out on the road with Aaliyah. On a tour bus, there really aren’t many confined spaces. When you get on the bus there are bunks and so these bunks have little curtains you can pull at night if you don’t want anybody to see you sleeping. So it just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing. When the door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”

Aaliyah’s mom, Diane Haughton caught wind of the allegations and made a point on social media to put an end to these rumors that appear to be untrue:

“The woman and so-called backup singer that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar. “My husband and I were always on tour with her and at interviews and every place she went throughout her entire career. Whoever this woman is, I have never seen her before anywhere on planet earth, until now.”

With all the accusations and name slander, R. Kelly has had enough — he has threatened to sue Lifetime if they went on with airing the six part series. The “I’m A Flirt” singer went on to say that there are two five-minute recordings proving Lifetime was well aware that many of the women who came forward with abuse allegations were lying. Lifetime is unphased and went on with the premiere, which Kelly believes is because “some of the girls are lying, but that the budget was too high to turn back now.”

The docuseries is six episodes, and premieres over three days. The first and second episodes aired on January 3rd at 9/8pm central time on Lifetime and the following will air on January 4th and 5th. To stay in the loop check in on the Power106 social media accounts for any new information, but in the meantime here is the official part 1 trailer of Surviving R. Kelly. Grab some tea.