Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and many other stars turned down requests to appear in the new R. Kelly documentary Surviving R. Kelly, the series producer has revealed.
The three-part series on Lifetime premieres in the US tonight (January 3). The show traces allegations that Kelly sexually abused women and girls. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly and his former girlfriend Kitti Jones are among 50 interviewees who featured in the series, with that list also including John Legend and R&B artist Sparkle.
Executive producer dream hampton has now claimed that Erykah Badu, Questlove, Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, Celine Dion and comedian Dave Chappelle also refused to appear in Surviving R. Kelly.
Their contribution was specifically requested for the documentary as they have all worked with Kelly in the past.
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, dream hampton said: “When it comes to celebrities, It was incredibly difficult to get people who had collaborated (artistically) with Kelly to come forward.
“We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Celine Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle. [They’re] people who have been critical of him. That makes John Legend even more of a hero for me.”
The producer also spoke about the women who have come forward to talk about their experiences.
“They’re everything, these women. We call them survivors. They’re so brave. Their stories are important, and they have every right to share them. Many of them have said they (want) to prevent someone else from falling into (such situations).
“There are no big paychecks for these women. We can’t pay them to be in a documentary. There are no endorsement deals. This kind of exposure doesn’t lead to some great something. I admire them so much and have all the respect in the world for them.”
Kelly has consistently denied any wrongdoing and was acquitted in the 2008 trial. In his song ‘I Admit’, released earlier this year, he admitted infidelity but denied all allegations of paedophilia and non-consensual sex.
A screening of Surviving R.Kelly was recently shut down in New York after a gun threat was received at the venue.
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