John Legend was reportedly the only celebrity interviewed for Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” as other A-list celebrities are said to have declined to appear in the ongoing docuseries.
The show’s executive producer, Dream Hampton, told the Detroit Free Press that multiple celebrities who collaborated with or openly criticized Kelly, 51, refused to publicly speak about him. Hampton said Legend, 40, was the only celebrity to participate in the six-part docuseries, with his interview scheduled to air on Saturday.
“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,” she told the outlet.
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 fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 4, 2019
With the first two parts airing on Thursday, Kelly’s brother, Carey Kelly, said that he and Kelly were sexually abused as children.
“If he’s saying (he was abused), I don’t think he’s lying,” the brother says during the documentary.
Last night’s audience—reportedly Lifetime’s largest viewership for an unscripted series in three years—also heard about the marriage between the 27-year-old singer a 15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton. A marriage license acquired by Vibe indicated that falsified marriage license listed Haugton as 18. The teen’s family is said to have had the marriage annulled in February 1995.
Kelly’s former manager, Demetrius Smith, said he was “wasn’t proud” that he had the papers forged and that the pair wed in everyday attire at an Illinois hotel.
“Aaliyah looked worried, scared,” Smith said. “She was worried and scared. I wanted so much to grab Aaliyah and talk to her. She gave me a look like she wanted me to talk to her…I knew that it had changed the course of everything.”
[Featured image: John Legend/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP; R.Kelly/RW/MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx via AP]