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Surviving R. Kelly

Surviving R. Kelly

  • Premiered: 
    January 3, 2019
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Lifetime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags: celebrity

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Plot Synopsis

SURVIVING R. KELLY is a three-night, six-part documentary series that chronicles R&B singer R. Kelly's career and playboy lifestyle -- which has been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia -- and features interviews with survivors and their families. Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations have seemingly affected him. For the first time ever, survivors and people from R. Kelly's inner circle are coming forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental, and physical abuse. They are now finally ready to share their full story and shed light on the secret life the public has never seen. 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 premieres back-to-back episodes from 9-11pm ET/PT on three consecutive nights, beginning Thursday, January 3, 2019:

"The Pied Piper of R&B" (9pm on Thu Jan 3): As R. Kelly rises to fame and power as an R&B icon, he forms relationships with younger singers and dancers. Rumors about his marriage to a fifteen-year-old Aaliyah do little to stop his meteoric trajectory.

"Hiding in Plain Sight" (10pm on Thu Jan 3): After his marriage to Aaliyah is annulled, R. Kelly continues to soar on top of the charts. A talented choreographer becomes the new Mrs. Kelly in a secret ceremony.

"Sex Tape Scandal" (9pm on Fri Jan 4): As journalists uncover a trail of lawsuits and confidential settlements concerning underage girls, am underground sex tape emerges that puts R. Kelly in a compromising position.

"The People vs. R. Kelly" (10pm on Fri Jan 4): R. Kelly goes to trial in Chicago on multiple counts of child pornography for his alleged participation in a sex tape involving a minor.

"All the Missing Girls" (9pm on Sat Jan 5): Parents of girls in R. Kelly's camp accuse him of keeping them psychologically and sexually imprisoned. One mother fights to get her daughter back -- and wins.

"Black Girls Matter." (10pm on Sat Jan 5): As other major public figures fall from grace, women's groups come forward to take aim against the sexually brazen superstar. Is R. Kelly's time finally up?
On Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 10pm-Midnight ET/PT, Lifetime premiered "The Impact," a two-hour SURVIVING R. KELLY special. Hosted by journalist Soledad O'Brien, this special details the conversations and reactions ignited by the powerful documentary series, while highlighting the impact the documentary has had on our culture globally, how it has elevated the conversation on sexual violence and what it means to be a survivor.

In the days following the debut of SURVIVING R. KELLY on Lifetime, vital conversations erupted throughout the country. Calls to sexual assault hotlines increased by 35%, and #MuteRKelly activists were galvanized to protest for R. Kelly's record label to drop him. Public outcry ensured the survivors would not be ignored and more women came forward with allegations of abuse. Seven weeks after the debut of the docuseries, the Cook County attorney's office indicted the R&B singer on 10 felony counts of aggravated sexual assault involving four victims and spanning over a decade, ultimately leading to Kelly's arrest. The special features footage from the docuseries, interviews with journalists, legal experts, non-profit organizations and psychologists to discuss the ongoing story surrounding R. Kelly, including an in-depth look at his now infamous interview with Gayle King and the women who are still standing by his side.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Kreativ Inc.