Singer R. Kelly is facing the biggest backlash to his sexual preferences from industry insiders.
Since the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime from 3-5 January, fans and celebs have called for a boycott of Kelly following the airing of the six-part special.
A source close to Kelly, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, has revealed to TMZ he is “disgusted” by the doccie, which he hasn’t watched.
The doccie details are alleged sexual and physical abuse, stories of physical assault, rape of underage girls and psychological abuse, all at the hands of the singer.
Kelly’s lawyer, Brian Nix, has allegedly said the star plans to “sue everybody who had anything to do with this”. Kelly is said to be in possession of an audio recording that Lifetime knew “some of the girls are lying, but that the budget was too high to turn back now”.
Singer John Legend, who was labelled a hero for appearing in the doccie, tweeted in response to fans: “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.”
SA actress Pearl Thusi weighed in, tweeting: “I don’t listen to r kelly anymore. And I do miss listening to his music. But I’m an effort to support the movement fighting GBV - my daughter won’t ever know his music or contribute to Kelly’s legacy - financially or otherwise. (sic)”
US celebs denounced R.Kelly. Singer Ne-Yo said: “There is NO excuse.
“Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD. #IHaveADaughter #TF!?? #MUTERKELLY.”
Meanwhile, a pro-Kelly Facebook page, titled Surviving Lies, aimed to discredit the singer’s accusers and expose their personal info. The page contravenes Facebook’s guidelines and the site has been pulled as of Monday.
Jada Pinkett Smith questioned why R. Kelly’s music sales “have spiked (substantially) since the release of the docuseries”.