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John Legend on appearing in Surviving R Kelly doc: 'I don't give a f*** about protecting a serial child rapist'

The musician previously shared his support for the #MuteRKelly movement, signing in an open letter calling on the music industry to cut ties with Kelly

Clarisse Loughrey
Friday 04 January 2019 12:41
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Surviving R. Kelly: Lifetime release preview of three-part documentary charting controversial singer

John Legend, who is the highest-profile celebrity and only major musician to appear in Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly docuseries, took to Twitter reiterate his support for Kelly’s accusers.

After the first two episodes of the series aired on Thursday, Legend elaborated on why he chose to participate: “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 f*** about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”

Over the past two decades, Kelly has faced a number of accusations of sexual misconduct, making indecent images of children and other offences. Last year, the singer denied allegations he was holding a number of young women in a so-called cult. Despite having faced previous accusations of sexual misconduct, Kelly was never found guilty.

The series is set to feature testimonies from women who allege to have been the victim of mental, physical, and sexual abuse by Kelly. The six-part docuseries will feature 50 interviews, including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, singer Sparkle, ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, and brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly.

During his interview in the final episode, which airs on Saturday, Legend said: “R Kelly has brought so much pain to so many people. #TimesUp for R. Kelly.”

Legend praised the work of series director and producer Dream Hampton, writing on Twitter: “We should all thank my friend @dreamhampton for her very necessary work to create #SurvivingRKelly. These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard. I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice.”

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Hampton said: “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 musician previously shared his support for the #MuteRKelly movement, signing an open letter in April organised by the Women of Color of Time's Up, calling on the music industry to cut ties with Kelly.

A representative for Kelly has been contacted for comment on Legend’s tweets.

Surviving R Kelly continues on Lifetime on Friday and Saturday at 9pm ET.

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