R. Kelly has been labelled a “monster” and “the devil” by women featuring in a new documentary about abuse allegations made against him.
The accusers are among 50 interviewees taking part in the three-part Surviving R. Kelly documentary, which will air on U.S. network Lifetime in January (19).
“There’s a difference between R. Kelly and Robert (his real name). R. Kelly’s this fun, laughing, loving guy,” one woman says in the trailer. “But Robert… is the devil.”
Other interviewees call the star, who has been dogged by claims he coerced women into abusive relationships likened to a “sex cult” by the alleged victims’ parents, a “puppet master” and a “monster”.
The clip also makes reference to past claims against the musician, like his 2008 acquittal in a child pornography case.
Several celebrities, including John Legend, talk show host Wendy Williams, and the R&B singer Sparkle, whose niece was at the centre of the child pornography case, have also been interviewed for the six-hour documentary, while Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones and his brothers Carey and Bruce have also taken part in the programme.
Lifetime bosses commissioned the show after the parents of two young women accused him of brainwashing them into a sex cult. Several former associates including Jones, who alleged he had groomed an underage girl to become his “sex pet”, also went public to accuse the star of behaving abusively towards girlfriends.
The 51-year-old has denied the allegations, but also remained defiant by mocking the controversy with a 19-minute song called I Admit. Police in Dallas, Texas are investigating a separate sexual misconduct claim from a former lover, which he also denies.
Announcing the documentary in May, executive producer Dream Hampton said: “Some very brave black women have trusted us with their stories, their truth and their trauma. They are survivors, and I’m honoured to share their stories with the world.”
The first instalment airs in the U.S. on 3 January.