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R Kelly under criminal investigation following documentary featuring alleged sexual assault victims

Singer R Kelly. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 09, 2019, 04.52 PM (IST)

American R&B star R Kelly is facing major flak from all quarters ever since a six-hour documentary series titled ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ aired this weekend that revisits accusations of criminal misconduct including having sex with several minors.

The docu-series premiered on Thursday on the Lifetime cable network with subsequent episodes airing every other day. It has now led to a criminal investigation being opened in the state of Georgia.

The docu-series also features singer John Legend who was seen along with the survivors of the alleged assault. When John was appreciated for his effort, John 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 fuck about protecting a serial child rapist." 

He added: "Easy decision. These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard. I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice."

The ‘I believe I can fly’ singer-producer was first charged in 2002 for filming sex acts between him and a 14-year-old girl. He was acquitted in 2008 for the same but the issue has now picked up after interviews of the alleged victims have gone viral in the docu-series. 

In the documentary, women portray the singer as manipulative, violent and focused on young girls, allegedly demanding they call him "daddy."

Meanwhile, in response, an online music-streaming platform, Spotify removed the artist's music from its playlists and recommendations after the Time's Up movement in May 2018. 

Last year, the issue got a greater media visibility after a campaign #MuteRKelly was started. 

Also, it is said that Kelly will launch a site called survivinglies.com with the intent to “expose all of his accusers as liars as well as reveal their true motivations behind their allegations.” Facebook has already shut down the page, saying it violates their community guidelines.

Story highlights

The ‘I believe I can fly’ singer-producer was first charged in 2002 for filming sex acts between him and a 14-year-old girl. He was acquitted in 2008 for the same but the issue has now picked up after interviews of the alleged victims have gone viral in the docu-series.