We’ve all heard the rumors about the criminally predatory lifestyle that singer R. Kelly has been associated with for decades. But the highly anticipated and deeply sourced docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which debuted Thursday night, all but confirmed the most disgusting suspicions about him and his apparent predilection for seducing and controlling girls and young women.
The Lifetime Channel showed the first of the docuseries’ three installments, and the bombshell exposé did not disappoint the throngs of people who have developed a hatred for the singer’s alleged child sexual abuse. However, the show also may have further emboldened Kelly’s adamant legion of devoted fans who amazingly still refused to be swayed despite firsthand accounts from people closest to the singer who provided sick and salacious details about everything we’ve already heard about, and then some.
“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,” Lifetime wrote on its website.
Keep reading to find out the top five takeaways we learned watching the “Surviving R. Kelly.”
1. R Kelly’s brother Bruce is trash
Bruce Kelly, the singer’s blue-eyed, imprisoned brother who seemed to leave no child predatory rock unturned — even if it was to R. Kelly’s apparent detriment — was one of the lone voices of support for R. Kelly, which was basically an all-out defense of being sexually attracted to young girls.
When he was asked if he believed R. Kelly was a pedophile, Bruce Kelly astonishingly said, “its a preference.”
Oh, did we mention he said it from behind bars while sporting a prison jumpsuit?
It was just a little more than five years ago Bruce Kelly was suing his brother over $11,000 in back-pay. Hmmmmm.
2. R. Kelly was actually illiterate as an adult
The world already knew this, thanks to a shameful attempt at generating sympathy via a pitiful song R. Kelly released this past May. But to hear the extent of it confirmed by his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, was a strong, compelling moment Thursday night.
3. The record labels associated with R. Kelly were complicit in his alleged behavior
It’s no surprise that businesses are unscrupulous capitalists, but somehow Jive and the other labels R. Kelly worked for and with turned a blind eye to his apparent pedophilia all in the name of making a hit record and earning millions of dollars.
4. Singer Sparkle said she was controlled by R. Kelly but then introduced him to her 12-year-old niece
Sparkle was both a sympathetic and unfortunate figure when she said on camera that despite feeling like she was being controlled by the singer, she still thought it was a good idea for him to meet her 12-year-old niece, who would allegedly go on to be the 14-year-old girl at the center of R. Kelly’s child porn case that he was eventually acquitted of.
5. R. Kelly’s fans still love him no matter what
No words for this one.
As powerful as Thursday night’s show was, there were still more episodes that executive producer dream hampton said were “not easy to watch” but needed to be seen to fully appreciate the docuseries.
R. Kelly’s lawyers previously threatened to sue Lifetime if it aired “Surviving R. Kelly,” which was scheduled to continues being shown Friday and Saturday nights.
As usual, social media users had no shortage of opinions on all of the above, and more.