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Lifetime To Air 2-Hour Follow-Up Special Exploring The Impact Of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’

“Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact” will take a look at everything that’s happened since Lifetime’s documentary brought renewed attention to the numerous sexual assault claims against R. Kelly.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Months after the premiere of its explosive “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, Lifetime has announced plans to air a follow-up special that will take a look at the cultural aftermath of its six-part series.

“Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact,” a two-hour special hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien, will examine 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,” the network said in a news release. The special will include more interviews with psychologists, journalists, and those in the legal field, and will comment on Kelly’s actions since the release of the initial series, including his now-infamous interview with Gayle King, the network said.

Lifetime’s follow-up is set to premiere on May 4, four months after the first film debuted on television.

“Surviving R. Kelly” ignited a firestorm around the 52-year-old singer. He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, but numerous accusations of sexual misconduct had been levied against him throughout his career — claims that were examined with new eyes in the #MeToo era.

Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February, with prosecutors claiming that he victimized three minor females and one woman. He entered a not guilty plea, but in the months since the documentary premiered, numerous other women have come forward with their own allegations against Kelly.

Despite the mounting backlash, Kelly has continued to maintain his innocence and, on occasion, make public appearances.

In his first interview following his arrest, Kelly claimed that the public were assassinating him, telling “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, “I’m fighting for my f--king life.”