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Allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against R&B artist R. Kelly are in the spotlight again as a six-part documentary series reignites public outrage.

The three-night Lifetime series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” brings together Kelly’s accusers and inner circle to detail the artist’s life that the network described as “riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia.”

Thursday’s premiere episodes revisited the previous accusations against Kelly through interviews with accusers, witnesses and those who were close to Kelly.The docuseries also includes interviews with activist and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, musician John Legend, talk-show host Wendy Williams and Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly.

Before Thursday night’s premiere, a December screening of the docuseries in New York was evacuated after “several anonymous threats were called in,” Lifetime said at the time.

On Thursday night, Legend, who was the only major artist to appear in the docuseries tweeted,

“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 f*** about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”

Burke tweeted, “It has taken 20 YEARS to get the mainstream media to shine light on his depravity. He is not FACE of sexual assault. He is the subject of a doc that allows his survivors to be heard…finally.”

The long history of accusations against Kelly of alleged impropriety with young women and girls date back to 1994, when the singer was 27 years old and reportedly married his 15-year-old protegee, singer Aaliyah.

The marriage was annulled after Aaliyah’s family became aware of it, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

In 2002, Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography related to his allegedly videotaping himself having sex with an unidentified underage girl. The case went to trial in 2008, and Kelly was acquitted on all charges. CNN reported in 2008 that lawyers for Kelly at the time said he was not in the video. They also suggested his likeness may have been computer-generated.

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes connected with the allegations made in the documentary series.

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Post Author: Abdul'Hakeem Ogundipe

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