NEWS

Millions Watched New TV Docuseries About Abuse Allegations Against R. Kelly

By Tracy Swartz
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Multiple women have claimed that Kelly physically, sexually and mentally abused them. He is also accused of running a so-called “sex cult.”

CHICAGO

About 2 million people tuned in to watch the premieres of each of the six episodes of the new docuseries that explores the abuse allegations against Chicago R&B superstar R. Kelly, according to Nielsen numbers released Tuesday.

“Surviving R. Kelly”, which initially aired in two-hour blocks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and re-aired later, was a ratings boon for the Lifetime network. Network representatives touted the show as Lifetime’s “strongest nonfiction series in seven years.”

The series became more popular as it aired. There were about 1.8 million viewers for Thursday’s premiere and 2.3 million viewers for Saturday’s finale.

The TV show delved into Kelly’s childhood on the South Side; his musical career, which includes hits “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix)”; his acquittal on child pornography charges in a 2008 Cook County trial; and his troubled relationships with African-American women.

Multiple women claimed on the series that Kelly physically, sexually and mentally abused them. He is also accused of running a so-called “sex cult.”

Kelly, who was born Robert Kelly and turned 52 years old on Tuesday, has denied the abuse and cult allegations and did not participate in the series.

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