​John Legend on R. Kelly Doc: "I Don't Give a Fuck About Protecting a Serial Child Rapist"

Lady Gaga, JAY-Z, Erykah Badu, Céline Dion, Dave Chapelle and Questlove declined to be interviewed for the documentary series

BY Sarah MurphyPublished Jan 4, 2019

John Legend has spoken out about his role in Lifetime's R. Kelly documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which premiered last night (January 3).
After receiving praise for being just one of two musicians to appear in the six-part series, Legend took to Twitter to explain that it wasn't a difficult decision to do so.
"To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all," he tweeted. "I believe these women and don't give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision."
The only other musician to appear in the film is Stephanie "Sparkle" Edwards, who was a former musical protégé of Kelly's. She famously testified against Kelly in court, after recognizing her own niece as the underage girl in a sex tape that led to Kelly's 2002 arrest. He pled not guilty and denied that the man in the video was him and was acquitted by a jury in 2008.
Other artists like Lady Gaga, JAY-Z, Erykah Badu, Céline Dion, Dave Chapelle and Questlove — who have all collaborated with Kelly in the past — declined to be interviewed for the series, according to executive producer dream hampton in the Detroit Free Press.
"It's not because they support him, it's because it's so messy and muddy," hampton said. "It's that turning away that has allowed this to go on."
In 2017, Kelly was accused of holding multiple women captive in an abusive "cult." He and his legal team have denied the allegations, and have now even threatened to sue the team behind Surviving R. Kelly.

Meanwhile, the mother of late singer Aaliyah has issued a statement, refuting claims in the Lifetime series by a backup dancer that her daughter had sex with Kelly when she was 15 (it's also been widely reported that Kelly and Aaliyah were married in 1994, when she would have been 15).
Last month, the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly was evacuated after a gun threat was called into the New York theatre.
The series continues to air on Lifetime through January 5. Watch a trailer for the series below.

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