Surviving R. Kelly

Watch Surviving R. Kelly

  • TV-MA
  • 2019
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.5  (5,757)

Surviving R. Kelly is a multi-part docuseries from Lifetime that premiered in January 2019. The six-hour program delves into the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse that have been made against R&B singer R. Kelly over the course of his career. The show features interviews with several of Kelly's alleged victims, as well as their families, former associates, and other people with knowledge of his behavior.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, has been accused of a wide range of sexual misconduct and abuse over the years, including statutory rape, physical abuse, and sexual trafficking. The documentarians behind Surviving R. Kelly compiled a wealth of evidence to support these claims, including interviews, court documents, and video footage. The result is a comprehensive look at the singer's alleged crimes, as well as a powerful indictment of the music industry and the legal system's failure to hold him accountable.

The first episode of Surviving R. Kelly sets the scene by exploring Kelly's early life and career, including his rise to fame in the 1990s and his various run-ins with the law over the years. The second episode follows the stories of several of Kelly's alleged victims, including his former backup singer, his ex-wife, and a young woman who was allegedly held captive by him for years. The subsequent episodes delve deeper into the various allegations against Kelly, including his illegal marriage to a teenage Aaliyah, his predilection for underage girls, and his alleged manipulation and intimidation of the people around him.

Throughout the series, the women who have accused Kelly of abuse are given plenty of space to tell their stories in their own words. Many of these women have never spoken publicly about their experiences before, and have been traumatized by the ways in which Kelly allegedly controlled them and silenced them. The show also features interviews with people who worked with Kelly in various capacities, including former collaborators and managers, who offer insight into his behavior and the extent to which people in the industry knew about his alleged crimes.

Surviving R. Kelly is a difficult watch, as it deals with heavy subject matter and features graphic descriptions of abuse. However, it is an important and timely document of the #MeToo era, one that puts the focus squarely on a powerful man who has long been shielded from accountability. Kelly himself declined to participate in the series, but his legal team has issued multiple statements denying the allegations against him.

Despite this pushback, the series has had a powerful impact in the media and beyond. Following its debut, several well-known celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Jay-Z, publicly distanced themselves from Kelly and his music. The series also led to the reopening of criminal investigations into Kelly's behavior, as well as the cancellation of several of his concerts and appearances. Overall, Surviving R. Kelly is a powerful indictment of a man and an industry that have been allowed to thrive at the expense of vulnerable young women for far too long.

Surviving R. Kelly is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (15 episodes). The series first aired on January 3, 2019.

Surviving R. Kelly
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The Verdict
4. The Verdict
January 3, 2023
A new Survivor takes the stand. Journalists react to shocking evidence played in the courtroom. Survivors, journalists, and cultural critics weigh in on the final verdict to the trial.
Jane Doe #1
3. Jane Doe #1
January 3, 2023
Aaliyah, Jane Doe #1, becomes the cornerstone of the New York Federal trial. A new survivor comes forward after nearly 30 years of remaining quiet.
Taking a Stand
2. Taking a Stand
January 2, 2023
Faith, Jane Doe number six, prepares to face R. Kelly in the courtroom; R. Kelly supporters make their presence known while others face charges and accusations alongside Kelly.
30 Years in the Making
1. 30 Years in the Making
January 2, 2023
R. Kelly's trial is underway; survivors and their family members bravely recount harrowing stories that paved the way to the monumental day.
Where to Watch Surviving R. Kelly
Surviving R. Kelly is available for streaming on the Lifetime (US) website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Surviving R. Kelly on demand at Philo, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Lifetime, Sling, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    January 3, 2019
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (5,757)