Celebrity Scandals

'He's The Puppetmaster': R. Kelly’s Accusers Tell Their Stories In 'Surviving R. Kelly’ Trailer

“Robert is the devil,” one woman insisted.

Numerous women who have allegedly been victimized by R. Kelly are done keeping silent about the controversial R&B star. They're telling their shocking stories in Lifetime’s upcoming docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly.”

Lifetime released a new trailer this week for the three-part series, which is slated to air on three consecutive days in January 2019. Kelly, 51, has been hit with allegations of sexual misconduct, pedophilia, and abuse for years. “Surviving R. Kelly” promises to expose “the secret life the public has never seen,” according to Lifetime.

“There’s a different between R. Kelly and Robert,” one woman can be heard saying in a voice-over during the trailer. “R. Kelly’s this fun, laughing, loving guy, but Robert is the devil.”

Others call Kelly a “monster” and a “puppetmaster.” Elsewhere in the trailer, footage of what appears to be a #MuteRKelly protest is shown. The movement gained traction this year, calling for a boycott of Kelly’s music.

Kelly has long been a polarizing figure in pop culture, and has repeatedly been the center of controversy during his decades-long career. He was accused of having sex with and urinating on an underage girl in 2003, but avoided being convicted on child pornography charges after the alleged victim opted not to testify. Public interest in Kelly’s alleged exploits were renewed with the publication of a shocking BuzzFeed News report in 2017, which claimed that Kelly routinely lured and groomed young women to participate in his “sex cult.”

Multiple women have accused Kelly of sexual misconduct in recent years, and Kelly has repeatedly denied allegations against him, most notably in a 19-minute song called “I Admit,” where he owned up to various character flaws but denied being abusive.

“Surviving R. Kelly” reportedly introduces new allegations of “sexual, mental, and physical abuse,” Lifetime says. The doc reportedly features more than 50 interviews with a variety of sources, including some of Kelly’s alleged victims and those who are closest to him. Activist and #MeToo creator Tarana Burke makes an appearance, as does R&B singer John Legend and talk show host Wendy Williams. Some of Kelly’s past partners, like his ex-wife Andrea Kelly (who recently opened up about the alleged abuse she endured during their relationship) and his ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones also appear in the series, as do Kelly’s brothers, Carey and Bruce Kelly.

The first part of “Surviving R. Kelly” is scheduled to air on Lifetime on January 3.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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