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Lifetime’s highly-anticipated docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” airs Thursday night, but the R&B singer reportedly wants to pull the plug.
According to TMZ, Kelly’s lawyer, Brian Nix, sent the network a legal letter, accusing the company of making false allegations in the upcoming series. If the project isn’t axed, the attorney has threatened to file a federal lawsuit Thursday, the site reported.
A rep from Lifetime told Billboard the network plans to air the documentary as scheduled. “Lifetime has always been a brand that champions women’s stories,” the rep said.
The six-hour, three-part special traces the vocalist’s life from childhood to present day and delves into his history of alleged physical and emotional abuse of women.
In the teasers, released last year, alleged victims Jerhonda Pace, Kitti Jones, Asante McGee, Lisa Van Allen, singer Sparkle and Kelly's ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, all detail accounts of alleged abuse from the star.
In addition to remarks from accusers, the film will also feature appearances from celebrities and family members, such as singer John Legend, talk show host Wendy Williams, Me Too founder Tarana Burke and R. Kelly’s brothers. Overall, the project includes more than 50 interviews.
On Thursday, many took to Twitter to declare they’d be tuning into the special.
I’m going to watch the Surviving R.Kelly series, with liquor of course but I’ll be watching.— Danie Durst (@daniecal) January 3, 2019
Those women dealt with a lot of obstacles to tell their stories (incl the bomb threat at the premier) and I honestly feel like I owe them my attention for their efforts
I’m not gonna lie I’m not gonna watch the Surviving R Kelly series. I don’t have time for y’alls hot takes on a story y’all only pay attention to when it’s on the TL. There are survivors around you that can see when you selectively care about these narratives.— Clarissa Brooks (@ClarissaMBrooks) January 3, 2019
R Kelly got bigger problems than worrying bout new music. They got a Roots length documentary on you boss— MonsterKing (@CerromeRussell) January 3, 2019
I wonder how many of the celebs refusing to speak out about R. Kelly were in studios and rooms and places where they saw him (or even participated) with underage girls or treating women abusively— The Grinch Who Stole Your Dad (@FeministaJones) January 3, 2019
Wonder if that's preventing them, self-indictment
For what seems like the 92nd time in my 31 years of living, tonight we’re gonna try and get R. Kelly outta here.— Kazeem Famuyide (@RealLifeKaz) January 3, 2019
On the other hand, some think the docuseries is an opportunity to exploit R. Kelly and the accusers.
It's crazy how many ppl think r kelly is guna go to jail after this comes out. These women should've gone to the police or to lawyers as a collective instead of letting lifetime exploit their experiences for monetary gain https://t.co/wLXzNmB1Zo— AYYYYYYOOOOO (@COTHEGR8) January 3, 2019
There’s a part of me that doesn’t believe everything I see 🤷🏼♀️— 2019... (@zithepilot) January 3, 2019
I think people forget we are in a world of entertainment, and most things we see are FALSE. I feel it’s possible the R. Kelly thing is probably false as well... so sorry to say it first.
And R.Kelly is still a free man while Michael Jackson's life was made a living hell for damn near 20yrs over false accusations made by people who wanted to exploit him— 🦂 (@shady_graham) January 3, 2019
“Surviving R. Kelly” will air on Lifetime at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, Jan. 3, Friday, Jan. 4 and Saturday, Jan. 5.
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