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In early January, the documentary Surviving R. Kelly were broadcast, detailing the accusations of sexual abuse of the singer
Surviving R. Kelly recounts in detail the accusations of sexual abuse that the R & B singer would have committed. This documentary has six parts and was broadcast during three nights: from January 3 to 5 of this year by the Lifetime channel.
Leer en español: R. Kelly o el más buscado del #MeToo
It is now online and available to anyone on the channel's website. Although for years the singer has already been accused and investigated for such allegations, the documentary has stoked the debate and caused reactions from both the public and celebrities.
Who is R. Kelly?
The so-called King of R & B is a singer from Chicago. You may know him for his famous "I Believe I Can Fly", the song of the movie Space Jam, in which Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny saved the world playing bascket. This song made him win three Grammy. He also collaborated with hip hop greats during the nineties like Snoop Dogg and Notorious BIG
He continued making other songs for films like "Gotham City" for Batman and Robin. More recently, the artist had collaborated with Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Jay Z, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion.
In 1994, he married the singer Aaliyah, who was then only 15 years old. That same year, the singer released her debut album Age Is not Nothing But A Number and in 1995 her marriage was annulled when it became known the age of the child. Then, in 2001, a sexual tape of a young woman with who appeared to be R. Kelly circulated in Chicago. According to Noisey, "that did not seem to affect his reputation, in the same way that an arrest can accredit the street style of a gangsta rapper, the explicit tape only boosted the character he was establishing."
Between 2002 and 2003, he was charged with 21 counts of child pornography and faced a trial in 2008. However, he came out well and successfully released his album The Chocolate Factory.
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In 2017, BuzzFeed published a report interviewing the parents of six girls and women who had been reported missing and who lived with the singer. Most of them were young women with aspirations for a musical career that now belonged to what BuzzFeed called "the sect" of R. Kelly.
According to the research, R. Kelly would have approached them promising a future in the music industry and sponsorship. The girls, mostly minors when they were seduced by the singer, moved to one of his residences in Chicago or Atlanta and there they lived as his sex slaves.
R. Kelly's former assistant said to BuzzFeed that girls had to ask for permission to eat, to go to the bathroom, and to communicate with their families. The singer told them how to dress and what to do. At that time, the police could not do much, because by 2017 they were all women of legal age who said they were there under their own will and claimed to have a spoiled relationship with the singer.
Surviving R. Kelly
This year, Lifetime released the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly , in which all this is told in more detail. The documentary is told in six parts in which it is narrated the rise of the singer, his success, and fame. It also narrates the scandal that caused the report of BuzzFeed and it has new testimonies from the victims and some people from R. Kelly's close circle.
The director and critic dream hampton is the executive producer and some characters from the industry such as Chance The Rapper, John Legend and Stephanie "Sparckle" Edwards participate.
According to Noisey, after the transmission of the documentary, a Facebook account called Surviving surviving was opened in which the testimonies of the victims were delegitimized. The account has already been closed. Among the public opinions are diverse, because R. Kelly has fans around the world and especially in the United States is a very powerful man who marked the direction of the R & B.
The reaction of many celebrities has been one of outrage and surprise. Singers Celine Dion and Lady Gaga and rapper Chance The Rapper have removed from all the streaming platforms the songs they collaborated with R. Kelly.
John Legend tweeted that although his acquaintances and his audience have applauded his bravery, he did it without any effort, because the decision to unveil the secrets of a sexual predator was very easy to take. The model Cara Delevigne shared on her Instagram John Legend's tweet and expressed her solidarity with the victims.
To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.— John Legend (@johnlegend) 4 de enero de 2019
The defenders of R. Kelly, however, are not few. Many have shared photos of John Legend with the also accused of sexual harassment Harvey Weinstein to delegitimize his testimony. The singer had to clarify that the photos were taken before knowing the accusations against the producer and that both he and R. Kelly had to answer before the law. Delevigne, on the other hand, lost more than 50,000 followers on Instagram after his post on R. Kelly.
According to the New York Times, an investigation is being undertaken in the cities of Atlanta and Chicago after the transmission of the documentary, the authorities gave a press conference in which they invited the victims and witnesses to get in touch.
The Cook County prosecutor already met with the attorney for the parents of Jocelyn Savage, one of the women who is believed to be living with R. Kelly in the sexual sect. Other victims who testify in the documentary and who were part of the sect, however, have not been contacted by the authorities.
As for R. Kelly, he hides in plain sight. According to the website The Feader, the singer's lawyers announced a day before the premiere of the documentary that R. Kelly will sue the Lifetime chain for defamation. The singer has always denied the accusations made against him.
Variety magazine reported that the RCA record label, a subsidiary of SONY, which has accompanied the singer since his inception, has terminated the contract with R. Kelly because of the accusations of "Surviving R. Kelly". This happens while the hashtag #MuteRKelly becomes a trend in an initiative that promotes the boycott of R. Kelly.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez
Translated from "R. Kelly o el más buscado del #MeToo"