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Lifetime recently aired a six-part documentary series called Surviving R. Kelly. It aired over three nights, caused a huge social media stir, and delivered record-breaking ratings for the network. The docu-series detailed years of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B artist. While there are likely plenty of people who appreciated the content of Surviving R. Kelly making it to the airwaves, R. Kelly himself apparently wasn't very happy about it.
R. Kelly himself hasn't released an official statement detailing his feelings about Surviving R. Kelly, but TMZ cites sources "in day-to-day contact" with the artist who express that he was quite displeased with the docu-series. R. Kelly allegedly views the project as a "vendetta" run against him by those who came to hate him over the years of his career and claims that he doesn't even know many of the people who appeared in the show, although he himself did not watch.
His team reportedly filled him in on the people who contributed. A few big names from the music industry appeared in the docu-series as well as those with accusations against him, including John Legend and Chance the Rapper. Sources reportedly claim that R. Kelly intends to sue anybody who was associated with Surviving R. Kelly, even going so far as to suggest that those who wanted to defend him on Surviving R. Kelly were prevented from contributing.
At the time of writing, R. Kelly has not fired lawsuits against all the people who appeared on Surviving R. Kelly. Whether legal action is taken or not, the allegations leveled against R. Kelly in the Lifetime docu-series likely aren't going away any time soon. The artist began making headlines about his behavior years ago, and he was accused of brainwashing women and more cult-like behavior back in July 2017.
As it happens, R. Kelly began facing a lawsuit of his own back in May 2018. He was sued by a woman who claimed sexual battery, false imprisonment, and failure to disclose an STD. The negative buzz surrounding R. Kelly is only building as more time passes, and recent years have proven that allegations against famous men in positions of showbiz power don't just go away as they once might have.
Plus, there's the fact that Surviving R. Kelly was a big hit for Lifetime. In fact, the first night of the three-night event ranked as Lifetime's best performance in more than two years in all of the key demographics, comprised of Adults 25-54, Adults 18-49, Women 25-54, and Women 18-49. It was also the #1 most social program across broadcast and cable for the night of January 3. 2019 is already off to a strong start for Lifetime, which the network definitely needed.
Given all the people who tuned in and talked about it on social media, the allegations against R. Kelly were exposed on a large platform with a relatively wide reach. He'll probably continue to be unhappy about the docu-series for the foreseeable future.
If you didn't catch Surviving R. Kelly the first time around and want to check it out, you can watch an encore marathon of all six episodes on Friday, January 11 at 6 p.m. on Lifetime. For alternate viewing options, take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule.